How to Find Shark Teeth

Two Parts:Selecting a LocationSpotting Teeth

Finding shark teeth can be a fun, easy activity to do when you're at an ocean beach. You just need to know where to look and how to identify a shark tooth when you see one. You can keep teeth as souvenirs, or string them on a necklace and wear them.

Part 1
Selecting a Location

  1. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 1
    Learn about shark migration patterns. Sharks migrate to and from different areas depending on the time of year. Some areas have lots of shark teeth because large numbers of sharks travel around the shores often. For example, sandbar sharks are found in large numbers off the east coast of Florida in spring when they mate. They move north at the end of summer and have their pups, so areas like Delaware Bay have a large population towards the early fall.[1]
  2. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 2
    Find a beach.Look up shark populated areas and select a beach to search for teeth. Sharks live in salt water only (except bull sharks who swim up into freshwater rivers that connect to the ocean). So don't go looking in your local pond. Sharks are more common in hot, humid places such as Hawaii and Florida. Although they can also be found at the poles.
    • Many coastal regions of states near the ocean like California, Florida, Hawaii, Virginia, Carolina and Alabama were once underwater. You can sometimes even find shark teeth fossils in these areas on dry land or in river beds since large portions of the state were submerged. Sharks were often drawn to these shallow waters to seek food.[2]
  3. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 3
    Go after a storm. Big storms can bring in all sorts of debris from the ocean, including shark teeth.[3] There will also be fewer visitors on the beach on days when the weather is less than ideal.
  4. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 4
    Start early. Go in the morning when there are fewer people in the water. The calmer waters will make it easier to see any shark teeth.
    • Weekdays are usually a less popular beach time, so go then if possible to avoid the crowds.
  5. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 5
    Be prepared. You won't find a shark tooth in five minutes. Be prepared to stay at the beach for a couple hours. Bring sunscreen and some water to stay there properly without harm. You may also want to pack a picnic lunch.
  6. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 6
    Ask locals to help you find the best spot. People may be able to tell you about shark tooth hot-spots or places where they commonly found teeth. If you aren't from the area, a local may be able to tell you which beaches draw crowds and when, and which ones have a lot of teeth. You can improve your chances of finding teeth right away if you find someone that can point you in the right direction.
  7. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 7
    Get a permit, if necessary. Depending on what state or country you are looking for shark teeth in, you may need to get a permit before searching for fossils. In some areas, permits aren't necessary for shark teeth, but you never know what else you might find.

Part 2
Spotting Teeth

  1. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 8
    Learn what shark teeth look like. Shark teeth have a pointy top and a thin body. Most teeth along the beach or shoreline are 1/8" to 3/4" but you can often locate larger teeth further out in the ocean.[4] Some teeth look like a triangle without a top, some are more Y-shaped. Identification can sometimes be difficult because the tooth characteristics can change depending on the location of the tooth in the jaw, and the age or sex of the shark.[5]
  2. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 9
    Look for the color black. Many fossilized shark teeth are black.[6] These are what you are most likely to find along the beach. Other less common colors of shark teeth are gray or brown. Modern shark teeth are usually white in color on the tooth and the root, they are seldom found along the shoreline.[7]
    • Remember everything you find that is triangular isn't a shark tooth, they could be rocks or stones so be sure that you know the looks of a tooth.
    • Look for any souvenir shops near the beach. They may have some shark teeth for sale so you can see an example of what you are searching for.
  3. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 10
    Scan along the shore and in the shallow waters. Shark teeth can often be found in easily on top of the loose sediment. It might be hard to spot among the shells and pebbles. If you just look on top of the sand you might not have a lot of luck.
  4. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 11
    Scoop up some sand near the waters edge. If you do not spot any teeth on the surface, you will need to start digging. Bring some tools. You might want a shovel, trowel, or bucket. You will probably want something to sift sand with, like a colander or strainer.[8]
    • Dig in a place where sand is unusually elevated. Teeth won't always be on the surface. Sand constantly covers up old sand with new sand. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.
  5. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 12
    Search in the water. If you aren't having much luck on the beach, try moving out into the shallows. Bring your strainer and reach down below the surface and scoop up some sediment. Sift through the sediment to see what you find.
    • While shark teeth are the big catch, keep an eye out for other cool items like stingray, porpoise, or crocodile teeth. You might find some cool shells, too.
  6. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 13
    Consider renting some scuba diving equipment. You can search more terrain off the shoreline when you go diving and you might find some larger, older shark teeth by searching a little further from the beach.
  7. Image titled Find Shark Teeth Step 14
    Be patient. Don't just glance at an area of sand and move on. Finding sharks teeth usually takes a bit of time and persistence. Waves may bring in new teeth, so it is a good idea to check areas multiple times. A single shark can produce up to 25,000 teeth over a lifetime, so there are plenty of them out there to be found.[9]


  • Once you find a shark tooth, keep looking in the same area. Usually, where there is one you can find more.
  • Shark teeth are very fragile so don't break them.


  • Shark teeth can be sharp, so use care when handling them.
  • Be careful about the tide, it could possibly pull you in.

Article Info

Categories: Hobbies and Crafts