Florida’s Fourth Estate: Shark tooth hunter shares secrets

He found the teeth on Fernandina Beach

Jacob Danner struck what he calls shark tooth gold.

Three weeks after discovering a 3-inch megalodon tooth, he found an even bigger one.

He was proud to show off that 4-inch megalodon tooth he says he found on Fernandina beach to News 6 anchors Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden on Florida’s Fourth Estate.

Danner said he has been fascinated with treasures since he was a child. But, he hasn’t always been so lucky.

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He said he moved to Fernandina Beach in March of 2020. Two days later he said he found his first shark tooth. Danner said was very small.

“It was like a ‘microladon’,” joked Danner.

A little over a year later he said he still finds a lot of small shark teeth, but finding those two large megalodon teeth is “like the top of the totem pole” and is what “everyone that hunts for those types of things aspires to.” He even compared it to finding a gold doubloon.

So how did he do it?

Danner says he was just casually looking around.

“People out here who get down on their hands and knees and they have high-intensity flashlights and magnifying glass, I mean all kinds of contraptions everybody’s got their shtick you know, that they use. But, me you know I’m just casually looking.”

He said both of the megalodon teeth he discovered were only 30% visible. So, he just kicked some sand away before picking it up.

“I’m 6 years old again and finding those treasures that you know you put in your jar.”

He said after his story went viral he started hearing from people from other countries asking if he would sell the teeth and if he could share his tips with them.

He said he should charge for the information but gave them a few freebies. He said there are certain things to look for like shape and texture. He also figured the smaller ones would be closer to the surface of the sand and that the bigger ones would be at least partially covered in sand.

But not everybody is excited about him letting the secret out. He said people have told him they want to keep their little secret shark tooth mine under wraps.

Some are questioning whether these teeth are even real.

When News 6 asked Danner how he feels about those who doubt that he actually found these two teeth, he had the following reaction:

“These comments don’t say anything about me, it says something about them.” And as for him, he said “I am going to reach in with both hands and find all the beauty and love and grace and wonder that I can find and I am just going to pull it in and share it with enthusiasm.”

Hear Jacob Danner talk about his unique discoveries and how you can become a shark tooth hunter too by downloading Florida’s Fourth Estate from wherever you listen to podcasts.

Florida’s Fourth Estate looks at everything from swampy politics to a fragile environment and even the crazy headlines that make Florida the craziest state in the Union.

Ginger Gadsden and Matt Austin use decades of experience as journalists to dissect the headlines that impact Florida. Each week they have a guest host who helps give an irreverent look at the issues impacting the Sunshine State. Big influencers, like Attorney John Morgan, renowned Florida journalists and the scientists protecting Florida’s ecosystem, can often be found as guests.

Look for new episodes every Friday on Apple podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Listen to the full episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate on Apple podcasts here or on Sticher here.


About the Author:

Tiffany produces the 4:30 p.m. newscast and has been with News 6 since January 2019. She also produces Florida's Fourth Estate podcast. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in radio/TV. Tiffany has lived in Central Florida since 2004 and has covered the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman trials and several hurricanes.