Ah, a second lockdown… Staying positive at the moment is hard, all I can think is that at least this time we can venture outside still. Having launched the shark collection, I was thrown deep into the amazing world of “sharkies”, which is when I found @sharkteethwaltonUK on Instagram and I asked her how to find shark teeth?
Now, when it comes to lockdown activities, we’ve all gotten pretty creative, but this has to be my favourite activity by far. Have you tried it? At some point, we’ve all wondered down the beach looking for cool shells and pebbles, but I never realised you could literally find real shark teeth right there in the sand! Crazy.
It’s definitely the right time to try. You’re allowed to travel and go outside, plus at this time of year in the UK the beaches are pretty empty. I thought, why not give it ago? So, I dragged my poor boyfriend to wet and cold beach, with the promise of a visit to the chippy.
How to find shark teeth on the beach
As their teeth fall out so easily, sharks can have up to 50,000 teeth in their lifetime! In theory, there are a lot of teeth to be found. Here’s how to find shark teeth:
- Choose the right beach and go at low tide
- Find a patch of stones and shells
- Sift through, looking for black shiny objects
You can only find shark teeth on certain beaches
According to Portals of the Past, the best beaches to find fossils in the UK include:
- Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis, Dorset
- East Beach, Charmouth, Dorset
- Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex
- Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex
- Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire
- Helmsdale, North-East Scotland
Less than an hour away from where we live, we ventured to Walton-on-the-Naze. I never even realised it was such a hotspot for fossil hunters. Possibly because I’ve only ever visited in the summer so never really noticed these beach combers!
Wrap up warm
My number one top tip for how to find shark teeth at this time of the year, is to wrap up warm! Charlie and I only spent the best part of an hour looking for shark teeth, but it was a very cold hour. Charlie also refused to wear a coat, but he was shivering quite violently by the end of it.
While we were there, I noticed a woman sifting through the sand wearing rubber gloves. At first, I thought maybe she didn’t want to damage or contaminate any fossils she might find, or maybe it was a COVID-thing. However, I soon realised it was to stop her hands freezing off.
When looking for shark teeth, you are literally using your hands to sift through pebbles, shells, and sand. At this time of year, it’s also likely these are all going to be very cold and wet. So, if you are planning a day-trip to the beach, bring a warm coat, hat and gloves.
What we found on the Beach
Considering it was our first time and we only really looked for about an hour, I think we did pretty well to find some real beach treasure! I use the term treasure loosely, because remember “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure”.
We found: one shark tooth, and one mermaid’s purse!
What’s a mermaid’s purse?
Looks pretty alien, right? I spotted this one out of the corner of my eye. Had I never checked out Shark Trust when launching the shark collection, I would have walked straight past and thought nothing of it. However, Sharks Trust have a campaign that runs all year around called The Great Eggcase Hunt, which encourages beach combers to document their findings.
Having checked out their site, it turns out I found the eggcase form a spotted ray. They’re very common, but I still think it’s cool and have added my findings to their records. Eggcase records are super important to helping conservationists!
I FOUND A SHARK TOOTH!
I literally have not stopped going on about this since the weekend, but I found a shark tooth! Right when we were about to give up and go home, I spotted one on top of the pebbles and grabbed it.
They say, if you have to question whether it’s a shark tooth or not, then it’s probably not one. This one definitely was! This tooth is a lot more difficult to identify what shark it came from than the eggcase. However, I think it might be a lemon shark. What do you think?
Love sharks, or know a sharky?
10% of profits based of the sales of the shark collection are donated to Shark Trust to support worldwide shark conservation!
‘Til next time!