Over millions of years, shark teeth have accumulated along the shores of Venice Beach, Florida, and other nearby beaches. This leads hordes of tourists to visit this lovely Sarasota area town and search for pre-historic shark teeth. It’s earned Venice the moniker “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.”
As you may imagine, many questions come up before and during shark tooth hunting in Venice. What do the teeth look like? Is there a best place to find the teeth? What do I use to find shark teeth? You get the idea.
With shark tooth hunting articles among the most popular on our Florida travel blogs, here are simple answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the topic. We hope these answers lead to some great toothy finds for you.
Why are there so many shark teeth around Venice Beach?
Throughout time, sharks apparently liked the Venice Beach area and gathered there for a feeding frenzy. Of course, it helps that sharks make 25,0000 to 30,000 teeth over their lifetime. Find more about the history of shark tooth hunting and the overall experience from a post on our other travel blog.
What’s the best beach to find shark teeth around Venice?
Caspersen Beach is where you’ll find the largest number of people serious about shark tooth hunting. Arrive around sunrise, and you’ll already find people with shark tooth hunting tools, combing for the (usually) tiny teeth. Yet you’re still good if you arrive later in the day. Families, couples, and solo travelers enjoy Caspersen both for shark teeth hunting but also to take in a relaxing day at the beach. You can get to Caspersen using the same road that Venice Beach is on.
What’s on Caspsersen Beach?
Caspersen Beach isn’t just a place for your shark tooth hunting. It has a playground, bathrooms, boardwalk, picnic area, and abundant wildlife (think birds, turtles, iguanas, and more). During our last visit, we chatted with a volunteer looking to start a Friends of Caspersen Beach group, to help preserve all that Caspersen offers.
What are some other good beaches for shark tooth hunting?
Venice Beach (where the pier is), Englewood, Nokomis, and Blind Pass beaches are all nearby beaches where you may find shark teeth. You’ll find most of those beaches on the following map from the Englewood Chamber of Commerce. There are other beaches all around Florida that are good for shark tooth hunting. Do your research online, and you may be surprised to find that another Florida beach destination is famous for shark teeth.
When’s the best time to go shark-tooth hunting?
The best time to go is low tide. Here’s a tide schedule for Caspersen Beach. During high tide, it’s harder to find the teeth unless you go in the water to search for them.
What should I bring for shark-tooth hunting?
Bring whatever you’d usually bring to the beach, such as a towel, sunscreen, swimsuit, etc. To help you find shark teeth, you can find a “Florida snow shovel”/sand sifter at local Walmarts and tourist stores. (See image above of a Florida snow shovel. Find out more about Florida snow shovels here, in one of our previous articles.) They also rent them on the Venice Beach Pier. However, a collander from your kitchen can help, and so can a homemade fossil/shark tooth hunting contraption (learn how to make them here, in a YouTube video).
The water around Caspersen Beach is rocky, so you may want to wear water shoes if your feet are sensitive or if you have diabetic neuropathy.
What are different ways to search for shark teeth?
You can use your “Florida snow shovel”/sifter, bring a collander from home, go snorkeling for shark teeth, and go diving for them. Diving will increase your chance of finding larger teeth. You can also scoop up a handful of shells/shell fragments and see what’s there. If you don’t have time to look but must bring home some toothy finds, you can also buy shark teeth at some local stores, like Sea Pleasures and Treasures. “7 Ways to Search for Shark Teeth in Venice,” posted on our other travel blog, will provide more details.
What do shark teeth look like?
Believe it or not, they are often black or gray. This is because they absorb the minerals surrounding them over time. They also are usually going to be tiny. Some will be sharp, others won’t. Here is a link to images of shark teeth.
What types of shark teeth will I find?
There are many! Nurse, bull, lemon sharks and many more have left their teeth around the Venice shores throughout time. The following post from FossilGuy.com has a lot of great info on what to expect during a shark tooth hunt around Venice Beach.
Will I find megalodon teeth at Venice Beach, Caspersen Beach, or other nearby beaches?
Probably not on shore. By way of background, the megalodon was the massive-sized shark that swam in the local waters and other parts of the world millions of years ago. They weighed as much as 30 large great white sharks–yikes! Look at this YouTube link to see the size of megalodon teeth (found by someone scuba diving for them at Venice Beach). It’s doubtful you’ll find one of those teeth just laying around on shore. However, some people who go diving for teeth get lucky and find one or more.
How far is the Venice Beach Pier from Caspersen Beach?
It’s just a couple minute’s drive….maybe a 15 minute or so walk?
Is shark-tooth hunting dog friendly?
Not really. Maybe your dogs would enjoy it, but they’re actually not allowed. However, Brohard Beach, located between Venice Beach and Caspersen, is geared toward dogs. It has a beach area for your favorite Fido and enclosed dog park areas on land for them.
What food is nearby?
The famous restaurant Sharky’s on the Pier is located right on Venice Beach Pier. It’s quite popular, and the pier offers a spectacular view of the area. It also has Fins at Sharky’s that’s a little fancier. Within a 5-minute or so drive, you’ll find lots of dining options in the town of Venice. If you’re around on a Saturday, check out the Venice Farmers Market.
Is Caspersen Beach a nude beach?
Technically, no. But we were amused to read online that because parts of Caspersen are secluded, there are some people who choose to sunbathe (or shark-tooth hunt?) in the nude. We’ve never seen them. But you’re forewarned!
Got another question about shark teeth hunting? Let us know in the comments and we may be able to answer it!