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Beachcombing is like treasure hunting, and there's nothing quite as rewarding as finding something unusual among the seagrass and clam shells. While there are many great shelling spots in Florida to choose from, you won't want to overlook the "Shark Tooth Capital of the World," located right here in Venice.
This little spot in Sarasota didn't earn its nickname for nothing; thousands of people flock to the Venice shorelines every year specifically in search of shark teeth.
If you're wondering how all the teeth got here, according to Visit Sarasota, "ten million years ago, when Florida was submerged under water, the area was teeming with sharks. Over time, as the water receded giving way to land, the prehistoric sharks died - their skeletons disintegrated, but their fossilized teeth remained. The Venice coastal area, just south of Sarasota, sits on top of a fossil layer that runs 18-35 feet deep. With storms and waves, the fossils are slowly driven into the shallow waters and then up onto the beach."
Because of this, Visit Sarasota says that their beaches south of the Venice Jetty "hold a bountiful cache of fossilized shark teeth" from prehistoric sharks for tourists to uncover.
Caspersen Beach remains to be one of the best to find teeth at, ranking on Tripadvisor as #5 out of 43 things to do in the city, with over 1,500 reviews and a four-and-a-half star rating. Many of the site's reviewers even offer their best advice for finding teeth.
"If you head to the beach directly out from the restrooms, there are large rocks - search around the rocks and on the seaside with your scooper to dig up sharks teeth," a portion of a comment reads.
As the reviewer suggests, one of the best ways to find the fossils is by purchasing a sea shell "scooper," or sifter. They work exactly how their name suggests: the sand and water is sifted through the small holes, leaving you with a catch of larger shells (and, hopefully, shark teeth) to pick from. And maybe if you're really lucky you'll find a megalodon tooth!
You can rent or buy a sifter from Papa's Bait Shop at the Venice Fishing Pier at Brohard Park and start your journey there or try your luck at another spot like Caspersen Beach, Casey Key or Manasota Key.
No matter where you go, one thing is for certain: with a little patience and a good eye, you shorely won't leave empty-handed.