Why shark teeth are black

Written by Michael Lee on July 15, 2015

After sharing the photo of the shark teeth I found during father’s day at Myrtle Beach, I started to wonder why they were black. Every photo I’ve seen of live sharks, showed their teeth as white. So then why are shark teeth black when you find them at the beach? They’re fossils.

It turns out that usually when sharks die or lose teeth for whatever reason, the teeth that fall to the ocean floor and get buried by sediment will fossilize through a process called permineralization. Neat. Thankfully this is a process that takes a very, very long time. So the shark that the teeth belonged to is most likely long gone.

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