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Finding Shark Teeth At NC Beaches And Islands

We hope this will be a complete guide and discussion thread on where to find shark teeth at NC beaches and islands when families take vacations along our beautiful coastal regions from the Outer Banks to the Crystal Coast, and extending in to the southern areas near Wrightsville Beach and Ocean Isle in Brunswick County.

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To participate in this thread, please subscribe to and use the no registration form below to ask questions, give advice, and tell us about your search for these artifacts. Additionally, we hope experts can give us information on which species of sharks are commonly found along the Carolina coast, and how their teeth become fossils.

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List of sharks common to the NC coast: tiger, bull, hammerhead, blacktip, sand tiger, lemon, spinner, and white sharks.

Where Did Your Search For Shark Teeth Take You?

When using the discussion below, please indicate which county and city or town you visited to conduct your search, along with specific tools you used and specific areas you looked for these artifacts.

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Storms Along The North Carolina Coast

In our experience and research, the absolute best time to find shark teeth in our region is after a major storm, tropical storm, or hurricane impacts a shoreline. These storms typically create rough seas and move a lot of sand which helps to uncover teeth and those which became fossilized over many thousands of years.

As these storms unearth the teeth, they are free to be carried by currents and waves onto local beaches and their shorelines.

Furthermore, to increase the likelihood of finding seashells and sharks teeth, search during a time of the year when there is less of a tourist population and also consider hunting for these artifacts in more remote areas.

Local Seashore Information

Additionally, don’t focus your search just at waters edge. Many treasures can be found in the sprawling sand dunes which separate beaches and populated areas. It’s very common that high tides and storm surge will move fossils and teeth in to the sand dunes.

Beach Nourishment And Dredging

In addition to storms unearthing these treasures, many local communities use dredging in open waters to bring enriched sand onto shorelines to re-construct sand lost during storms and wind. Just like with storms, searching in areas where dredging is being utilized will increase better results when searching for them.

Typically, you’ll find dredge work in areas designated as boating channels which maintain deep waters for boats and ships to travel.

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Inshore Islands

When we talk about inshore islands, we mean the barrier islands within a few miles from the mainland that are easily accessible by small boat or ferry boat.

These islands are ripe for finding shark teeth for various reasons.

First and foremost, barrier islands see much less foot traffic than mainland areas, thus less people searching an area will mean better chances of finding them.

Second, when there is a large concentration of islands which sit between the mainland and open seas, these islands act as a filter which catch fossils and artifacts before they reach mainland beaches along the NC coast.


Local Areas

Below is a list of local areas within our coastal region to find fossils, artifacts, and sharks’ teeth:

Anywhere along the Outer Banks is a good bet because these areas are usually very remote and don’t have tourist populations like you’ll find near Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Topsail Island. Start you search near Ocracoke Island, Cape Hatteras, and Nags Head.

The Crystal Coast region near Shackleford Banks, Cape Lookout, Emerald Isle, Cedar Island, and Pine Knoll Shores have many barrier islands which should produce great results for your hunt.

Considering these species of sharks: tiger, bull, hammerhead, blacktip, sand tiger, lemon, spinner, and white sharks, which of these species did you found most plentiful along the coast?

That’s it! Using the form below, add information to this document relating to finding shark teeth along the NC coast and beaches which we didn’t touch on in this article.

NOAA Information On Species of The Atlantic

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

One thought on “Finding Shark Teeth At NC Beaches And Islands

  • April 13, 2022 at 8:12 am

    I found nice black Tiger shark teeth at the southern end of Oak Island 3/20/2022. They are dredging to reclaim the dunes all along the coast there and are producing lots of nice fossilized teeth because they are bringing them up from the deep, uncovering them from their resting places. You just have to be patient and you will find many…and when I say patient, they are bringing up shells as well and most of those are ALSO black, it makes it hard to pick out the teeth, thankfully most of the teeth are really shiny but thats about the only nice thing, with the shells also being black and a lot of triangular shapes in broken shells, you have to be observant.


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