Charter boat captain finds giant shark tooth in Venice

Sarasota County

VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) – A charter captain in Venice recently discovered a massive shark tooth while out on a trip with three others.

Michael Nastasio is captain and owner of Black Gold Fossil Charters.

He has been a fossil hunter for nine years and recently made a business out of his passion and began taking customers off the coast of Venice back in August.

(Courtesy Michael Nastasio, captain and owner of Black Gold Fossil Charters.)

Nastasio told 8 On Your Side’s Allyson Henning that on Friday, he was going to take his three customers back to shore, but they wanted him to dive once more.

That’s when he found the massive tooth.

“It took a minute to even register that it was real, just because when you are looking at stuff through your goggles it makes everything look bigger underwater, so seeing that size tooth exposed as it was just absolutely took my breath away,” Nastasio said.

Venice is often referred to as the “shark tooth capital of the world,” but the captain said the location is known more for the quality of teeth fossil collections find, not necessarily the size.

(Courtesy Michael Nastasio, captain and owner of Black Gold Fossil Charters.)

Natasio believes the incredible find is a Megalodon tooth.

He’s grateful for the weather, saying fossil hunters “pray for storms.”

“If it blows hard enough out there it rips into the bottom, it throws material everywhere and that is how this stuff gets uncovered and exposed,” he said.

“I won’t go back to that spot now until we get another storm because every time the storm goes through it returns the bottom and [exposes] new stuff.”

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