Researchers Discover Massive Megalodon Tooth 10,000 Feet Below The Surface

Researchers discovered a palm-sized Megaladon tooth 10,000 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean.

According to a Facebook post by the Nautilus Live Ocean Exploration Trust, researchers discovered the tooth using a remote-operated vehicle called Hercules.

Photo: flickr/USFWS – Pacific Region

Hercules was gathering samples for an unrelated study when it grabbed the tooth off the ocean floor more than 10,000 feet below the surface in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, in an area aptly named the Pacific Remote Island Marine National Monument.

Researchers said in the post, “We believe it belonged to the infamous extinct #megalodon, but only time (and further lab analysis) will tell!”

What makes the discovery even more interesting is that the tooth was found in an area not known for having megalodon. According to the Smithsonian, “adult [megalodon] preferred coastal areas but could move into the open ocean.” Based on previous megaladon teeth found, researchers believe that the species preferred areas off the Carolinas and Baja California, rather than in the deep open waters.

In an interview with Newsweek, paleobiology researcher Jack Cooper explained, “What’s particularly interesting about this location to me is how remote and way out in the ocean it is, compared to the generally coastal habitats megalodon teeth are found in. This suggests to me that the shark might have been migrating across the ocean when it lost that tooth.”

According to the Nautilus Live Facebook post, Dr. Katie Kelley and Dr. Rebecca Robinson at the University of Rhode Island Marine Geological Samples Laboratory are working to officially identity the fossil.

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