He kept on swimming but then something caught his eye. He saw the seafloor rise up and then settle, he couldn’t believe what he saw.
He decided that he would take the mysterious artifact back home with him. He soon figured it was out of his depth and needed to call for help.
Michael Nastasio was a man born and raised in Florida. He had a boat and loved exploring the ocean floor for treasure.
He would take his boat and drive along the coast of Venice and occasionally drop anchor to check what lay beneath. He was looking for his next big find, and he would find something big alright.
Michael started his Saturday morning like any other. He loved to dive on the weekends. The skies were blue while the waters were crystal clear.
“I can’t take my eyes off of it”, He remembers thinking when he saw it on the oceon floor. He had no idea that after many years of searching, it was finally over.
He scoured the ocean floor slowly and methodically. The water was easy to see through. It was the perfect weather for what he was doing.
He then noticed something moving on the ocean floor. He was curious so he got closer. He thought it would be some kind of sea animal. But it would turn out to be something different entirely.
Sand started to swirl off of the seabed as something moved underneath. Then it slowly settled back and everything was calm again.
The event caught Michael’s attention and he soon saw something sticking out of the sand that wasn’t there before. It looked like some kind of dagger trying to hide away.
Michael felt his pulse racing as he reached out to grab whatever it was. He carefully pulled whatever it was out of the sand. It was as if it had been buried for several centuries.
He took it with him to his boat above the water and gave it a proper examination in the sunlight. He couldn’t believe what he had found.
Michael had a few tricks up his sleeve and knew what the difference was between fossils and bones. He also could give a rough estimate of how old the fossil was.
But even with all his experience when he fully understood what he was holding in his hands he nearly broke down. What had he found?
It was a tooth – a giant tooth but he had no idea what it belonged to. It was about 6 inches and he was struggling to hold it with one hand. So whatever it belonged to, it was a monster – bigger than anything this world had ever seen.
Michael rushed back onto his boat and brought the tooth home. He had no idea what he welcomed into his house.
He called up a friend of his who was an actual paleontologist. He often came out with him on the boat to dive around and look for fossils and other ancient treasures.
When Michael showed his friend, Rick the tooth, he watched as his eyes opened wide and his jaw hit the floor. It didn’t take him long to figure out what it was.
He took the tooth from Michael and studied its surface. It was covered in coral and suffered a lot of water damage. But as he spun the giant tooth around, he could still see some enamel on it.
He had never seen a tooth as big as this. No one had. This was an astronomical find. And one that challenged everything they knew about an extinct species.
Rick was certain that it belonged to a prehistoric shark. However, to determine which one, he needed to bring it to the lab.
When the results came back, the pair almost fell over. There was no way this was happening. They had no idea that Michael’s discovery would go down in history. What was it?
Michael found a tooth that was 22 million years old! It belonged to not just a Megalodon (which means “large tooth”) shark, but a Giant Megalodon shark.
The species lived on earth about 23 million to 3.6 million years ago, during the Early Miocene to the Pliocene eras. They were and are often considered to have been one of the biggest predators on Earth. But that’s not all.
Megalodon was not only considered one of the biggest sharks to have ever existed, but one of the largest fish to ever exist too.
The experts estimate that they grew to between 15 and 18 meters in length, three times longer than the largest recorded great white shark – their very distant cousin. But how did this end up in Micahel’s hands?
Many believe that Megalodon still exists and roams unnoticed in our vast oceans. Michael also likes to indulge this thought from time to time. Especially considering how much we still don’t know about the ocean.
But this tooth was anything but recent. Michael had no choice but to debunk his wild belief. But he held fast onto something else.
Being the ancient treasures lover that he was, Michael chewed on how to deal with the tooth. He debated giving it to a museum or the town but he just couldn’t bring himself to.
Michael kept the tooth for himself, slowly and meticulously cleaning it up to restore it to as close as its natural shape as possible.