WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, North Carolina -- The North Carolina coast is known for many things but, for divers, it is well known as a hot spot for finding giant prehistoric Megalodon teeth.
"It's really rare," explained Marine Biologist and owner of WB Diving, Chris Slog.
"In North Carolina, we're really lucky, and specifically Wilmington, North Carolina, it's one of a few places in the world where you can find the Megalodon teeth in those numbers," Slog explained.
"The teeth have been found all over the world, but not in the concentrations we're finding here," he added.
Slog leads divers to Megalodon Tooth Ledges from 26 to 40 miles off the coast of Wrightsville Beach.
Slog said these areas are concentrated for the teeth of these prehistoric sharks, which went extinct about two million years ago.
"These ledges are actually ancient river beds," Slog said. "You can see, if you look at a chart they're meandering rivers out there that used to be land at one point and now the oceans filled it in so it is 110 feet underwater," he said.
The dives for these teeth are advanced at more than 100 feet down and Slog said there are strong currents so finding a tooth is very exciting. "It's just that search like looking for gold," he said.
Teeth measuring more than six inches are valuable, some worth thousands of dollars. The Workshop, a coffee shop in Wrightsville Beach, sells the giant teeth and the coffee shop owner, Audrey Longtin, who is also a diver, has started a shark tooth jewelry line, Era Jewelry Design.
The shark theme is a big part of the popular coffee shop. "It's coffee with a bite," said Longtin.
"We started finding a lot of teeth, then I started doing jewelry with them and I thought I'll put them on the wall and see how people would react to it," Longtin said. "It's a huge success so that was a good call."
While diving for Megalodon teeth requires advanced certification, there is an area on land, Aurora, North Carolina that used to be home to a phosphate mine full of fossils including the Megalodon teeth.
Now, The Aurora Fossil Museum is a popular spot for fossil fans to visit to learn and hunt as the museum maintains two fossil pits in the Fossil Park located directly across the street from the main museum.
According to the website, visitors are allowed to collect fossils and keep what they find as a memento of their visit to Aurora. The pits are open from dawn to dusk daily and are filled with mine tailings where small shell, coral, shark tooth and other fossils are relatively easy to find.