Prehistoric Pastime – Local Man Dives for Megalodon Shark Teeth

prehistoric pastime

Local man dives for megalodon shark teeth.

By Caitlyn Boza
Brian County News – 12/14/11
Megalodon shark teeth, Megalodon
Megalodon

On a foggy winter morning in Midway, Bill Eberlein dons a thick neoprene wetsuit and an oxygen tank and slips into one of the murky waterways that snakes around Colonels Island.

He skims along the floor of the river and uses his hands to sift through the mud, hunting for a peculiar kind of sunken treasure: prehistoric Megalodon shark teeth.

Until about 2 million years ago, a giant species of shark, now called megalodon, roamed the world’s oceans. It spanned more than 60 feet in length, weighed more than 50 tons and boasted five rows of sharply serrated teeth.

“Their teeth are fascinating,” said Eberlein. “They’re so large that people once thought they could only belong to dragons.”

The Erie, Pa., native and Rotary Club of Richmond Hill president has been diving for megalodon shark teeth and other prehistoric fossils in Georgia’s waters since 1999.

“I love the excitement of hunting for something and never knowing what I’m going to find,” he said. “It’s like an Easter egg hunt for grown-ups.”

But in lieu of Easter eggs, Eberlein has discovered megalodon shark teeth, mastodon teeth, mammoth teeth, whale vertebrae, crocodilian jaw fragments, mako shark teeth and broken tusks.

Under the watchful eye of boat Capt. Gene Ashley, Eberlein dives more than 300 times a year.  With near-zero visibility and strong currents, however, he stressed that fossil diving is not for the faint of heart.

“It can be very dangerous. The mud can mess with your equipment, and you never really know what’s down there swimming with you.”

But despite the risks, diving is Eberlein’s passion.

“It’s like my therapy,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about anything underwater, just focus and enjoy it.”

Several years ago, Eberlein came up with a way to pursue his passion full-time.

“I just dove and dove, and I collected all these teeth. I even bought a boat so I could dive some more, and one day I thought, ‘Wow. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could use the teeth to pay off my boat?’”

And from that idea sprang www.megateeth.com — Eberlein’s online store featuring Megalodon shark teeth and fossils from creatures both past and present.

“It’s something that people really get into,” said Eberlein. “There’s just something about the idea of a fossil, something that’s so old it can show us what the world was once like.”

Although Eberlein’s business has enjoyed success, he said he often finds it difficult to part with his discoveries.

“The price for being able to dive more is having to sell what I find. But at the same time, it means that I get to interact with my hobby beyond diving. By selling the fossils, I get to talk about them, photograph them, meet incredible people who share my interests.”

Polished teeth, fossils and jewelry from Eberlein’s collection can be purchased at www.megateeth.com and at the Midway Gallery in Midway.

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Comments

  1. love it!

  2. miguel Jimenez says:

    This has been my dream to find fosils buried long long time ago, just what happend how did they get there, protect them as unic priceless bones, well my life took other way’s but it is sttill part of me.

  3. Paul. Ellis says:

    I find so many aspects of fossil collecting incredibly fascinating. The history!! The fact that these incredible creatures roamed the earth long before mankind. The thrill of discovery always interested and excited me since I was 9 years old collecting brachiopods on the shores of lake Erie during the 1960′s. Time and my career now limit my personal collecting adventures, so it is a real pleasure reading your articles annd purchasing some quality meg teeth. Your articles are always informative and well written! Please keep up the great work and be safe! It is truly appreciated! Sincerely, Paul

  4. Administrator says:

    Thanks for the comments. I lived most of my life on Lake Erie and sadly never got into fossil collecting until I moved to Savannah.

  5. WAYDE KOWAL says:

    I am wayde i am a rock collector my self i have more than 5 teeth they are 1. crocodile 2. baby megladon and for rocks i think i have meteorite from whitecourt? i have been shoveling for the last year and i want to buy 6″ inch megladon teeth for under 200$ if u can do that i am 10 years old. thank u. please and thank you can u respond?

  6. Administrator says:

    Hi Wayde. It sounds like you have a great collection. I am afraid I do not have anything like that right now.
    Bill

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