South Carolina

‘I’m beyond thrilled’: Myrtle Beach visitor surprised by fossil while shark tooth hunting

A Myrtle Beach visitor, who happens to be an outdoor enthusiast, had a beach day Monday that he will never forget.

Lexington, North Carolina, resident Chon Carlile was combing the surf near 9th Avenue South when he came across what is believed to be a partial mastodon tooth. A mastodon is a name commonly used to describe “large, extinct elephant-like mammals,” according to the New World Encyclopedia website.

“Me and the kids were sifting for sharks teeth when I spotted what I thought was trash rolling in the waves,” Carlile said.

“When I picked it up though, you could see a slick sheen and patterns in it. I was excited I found something cool, but had no clue until doing a little more research.”

Carlile contacted local group “Fossils of Myrtle Beach” and was told it was a mastodon tooth.

“As an outdoor enthusiast, I’m beyond thrilled to have found such an artifact,” he said.

Carlile said he plans to add the tooth to his fossil collection — which includes skulls and rocks — and contact a paleontologist to find more information on the artifact.

The Sun News Reporter Hannah Strong is passionate about making the world better through what she reports and writes. Strong, who is a Pawleys Island native, is quick to jump on breaking news, profiles stories about people in the community and obituaries. Strong has won four S.C. Press Association first-place awards, including one for enterprise reporting after riding along with police during a homicide. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Winthrop University.