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9 Year Old Makes the Discovery of a Lifetime

Molly Sampson finally found the treasure she had been searching for her whole life! On Christmas morning, the 9-year-old girl was out searching for shark teeth with her family in Calvert Beach, Maryland when she discovered something she had only dreamed of. Molly waded into the cold waters of the Chesapeake Bay and pulled out a 5-inch-long megalodon tooth, the find of a lifetime!

Molly and her 17-year-old sister, Natalie, asked for insulated chest waders as a Christmas present for shark-tooth hunting, and their wish came true when they opened gifts that morning. As soon as they finished breakfast, headed to nearby Calvert Cliffs with their father Bruce. While wading in the cold, knee-deep water, Molly said, she noticed the tooth, reached both arms into the water and grabbed it.

“She was over-the-moon excited,” Molly’s mother Alicia said. “She’s been shark tooth hunting since age 1 when she would crawl along the beach.” The homeschooled student from Prince Frederick has collected more than 400 shark teeth, but this discovery marked the fourth grader’s biggest find yet.

Stephen Godfrey, curator of paleontology at the Calvert Marine Museum, where Molly took her find, confirmed that the tooth belonged to the extinct shark megalodon (Otodus megalodon), which disappeared millions of years ago. While long extinct, the meg is believed to be one of the largest predators that ever lived. Scientists believe it could have grown 50 to 60 feet long!

“I was so surprised,” Molly said. “I thought I was dreaming. I didn’t think it was real.” Molly said she put the tooth into a beach bag and went to the museum to have the experts check it out. “They were really excited,” Molly said.

Molly said she plans to keep the ginormous relic in her collection and maybe one day put it on display. She’s already thinking about her next shark tooth hunting trip. With this amazing find under her belt, who knows what other treasures she’ll uncover!