Shark Tooth Hunting
The beaches on the northern end of Amelia Island are a shark’s tooth hunter’s dream. Fort Clinch State Park and Cumberland Island National Seashore are separated by the Cumberland Sound, creating the active shipping channel north of Amelia Island. Sharks have been patrolling these waters around Florida since the last Ice Age and they show no signs of slowing down, ensuring an endless supply of shark’s teeth to be found on the beaches of Fort Clinch.
Sharks are some of the ocean’s most impressive hunters, and have multiple rows of teeth acting as conveyor belts, replenishing themselves as they fall out. Depending on the species, a single shark can make between 30,000 and 50,000 individual teeth in its lifetime. Now that’s a big dentist bill! As these teeth fall out they collect in the sediment of rivers and creeks along the coast. Due to the periodic dredging of the channel here, fresh unsearched sand is pumped onto the beaches of Fort Clinch from deep in the Amelia River, ready for eager shark tooth seekers to find.
Shark tooth hunting is an easy and fun activity to take up. Look for the dark triangular shapes mixed within broken shells and sand on the beach, particularly at the tide line where waves crash onto the shore. With a little concentration and patience, you may be fortunate enough to find teeth from white sharks, tiger sharks, bull sharks, lemon sharks, and, if you are one of the lucky ones, perhaps even a massive prehistoric Megalodon tooth. While the best time to hunt for shark’s teeth is after a storm when the waves have exposed new layers of sand, there are enough teeth regularly found here that any time is a good time to find these pieces of nature’s treasure.
If you want to partake in the ultimate scavenger hunt, while also getting to enjoy the refreshing breezes and beautiful views of the Atlantic coast, then come to Fort Clinch State Park and find a tooth!