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Blackwater Fossil Diving

The Blackwater Dive Trip: The Idiot Divers


The Lowcountry of South Carolina; a fossil hunters paradise

The Lowcountry of South Carolina; a fossil hunters paradise.


Megalodon Shark Tooth Diving - The Idiot Divers: Trip Report

When planning a dive trip to the Galapagos Islands, I noticed on our flight itinerary that one of our layovers on the way home was near the Lowcountry of South Carolina. What Luck! I immediately got our flight stopped at the layover... I didn't care how we got home; we would be in fossil-lowcountry! I then contacted Ditchweezil about diving for fossil megalodon teeth. He mentioned we would arrive right in the middle of Riverdgrfest! Wow! More Luck! This is a special time of year when RivrDigr comes up from Florida with his boat and dives the Blackwater Rivers all week. After talking with RivrDigr, he kindly invited us aboard for some blackwater megalodon fossil diving!

On July 7th, we drove to a designated boat ramp where we were to meet RivrDigr. He psyched us up by showing us two beautiful megalodon teeth he found earlier in the week. All excited, we loaded enough gear for two dives into the boat and took off. He said this river has almost no visibility and that you have to feel around on the bottom for shark teeth. This is what he calls "braille diving".

The current was moderate, so I decided to tie myself off to Amy so she wouldn't get sucked away. This happened a few years back in a different blackwater river. Luckily I was tied to her and able to get her surfaced and ashore before death became her. Unfortunately the rope I used to tie us together was a thin twine. (If you are an experienced diver, your jaw has dropped, and you are muttering "idiot") As Amy and I got into the water, the twine wrapped itself all around us, my legs, my arms.... everywhere! Unable to swim, we immediately began to get sucked away still in a tangled web of line. Luckily I grabbed one of the dive lines, got to the anchor line where we untangled and descended. How embarrassing! We looked like complete dive idiots. Once we started descending, the surface light disappeared at about 15 foot of depth. We turned on our dive lights and realized it did not help at all. Somewhere between 15 and 30 feet we got all tangled up again, kind of like one of Spidermans foes. At 30 feet we hit the pitch black bottom in a big ball of twine. Our tangled up bodies started crawling against the current feeling around for about an hour. Despite dropping on to a very good spot, with bone everywhere, Amy found nothing. I ended up two megalodon teeth, a 2" megalodon tooth and a 4.25" megalodon tooth. We ascended to the surface in front of the boat and drifted into it, catching a line. I cut myself free of the Spiderman twine and we climbed aboard. RivrDigr ended up finding a broken megalodon tooth and a nice whale tooth.

For the second dive, RivrDigr gave me a thicker line to tie Amy to. This worked out MUCH better, there would be no more Spiderman webbing around us. For the second dive, the current picked up a bit. We jumped in and Amy immediately got swept away behind the boat. I gripped onto a rope to try and get us to the anchor line, but I could not pull the both of us. I decided just to let go and crash to the bottom then crawl upstream to end up in front of the boat. Once we crash-landed on the pitch black bottom, I went to turn on my dive light to realize it was still on the boat! After contemplating my situation for a minute, I realized this may be a benefit. I wouldn't waste any time trying to see in the murk. I could spend more time feeling around the muck and thus be more productive. It was also pretty cool looking. With no light and pitch black, bioluminescent plankton appeared to be incredibly bright. I felt as though I was in a star wars movie the entire time; little stars of bioluminescence zoomed by at warp speed.

Since we drifted back so far before hitting the bottom, we were out of the bone area. After an hour of crawling foreword and searching, we never did make it into main bone area. I ended up finding 3/4 of a 5.5" tooth, and Amy, again, found nothing. When we started to surface I was saying to myself""Please be in front of the boat, please be in front of the boat..." Nope. We surfaced to see the boat about 50 yards behind us. I yelled to Amy, "swim as hard as you can!" We both swam as hard as we could, only to see the boat get further and further away. I then told Amy we would have to swim to shore and hike it. Luckily, at that moment I saw RivrDigr surface in front of the boat. Surely he would see our plight when he got aboard. A few minutes later, the boat started up and came to our rescue. For a second time, idiot divers we were.

In the end, RivrDigr found a decent whale tooth, and I found a beat up, but complete 4.25" megalodon tooth. Amy found nothing. It wasn't the best day diving, but most of us found something. If nothing else, RivDigr must have had a good laugh at us.

Please Visit The Megalodon Page for more information on Blackwater Diving in South Carolina and Megalodon teeth.


The Blackwater Dive and the Fossils!


Here are RivrDigr's finds. He ended up with a decent whale tooth.



These are my finds, a worn 4.25 inch tooth, and 3/4 of a 5.5 inch tooth. (Yes, the sun is in my eyes!)



These are my finds laid out and cleaned up.



This is the 4 5/16 inch megalodon shark tooth I found. The serrations are worn and there's a chip out of the root, but it still looks descent.




Recommended Books and Fossils:





Fossil Diving Identification Guide
By: Daniel Berg, 2009

This is the Blackwater Fossil Diving Identification Guide. It is packed with images and information. If you are interested in blackwater diving, this is a must read.



Shark Tooth Hunting on the Carolina Coast
By: Ashley Oliphant, 2015
A guide on how to find and identify fossil shark teeth on the North and South Carolina beaches. It also has an easy to use section for shark teeth identification. If you want to find shark teeth in the Carolinas, read this book first!




Get Your Very Own Megalodon Tooth:

These are Authentic Megalodon teeth sold by Fossil Era , a reputable fossil dealer (that I personally know) who turned his fossil passion into a business. His Megalodon teeth come in all sizes and prices, from small and inexpensive to large muesum quality teeth. Each tooth has a detailed descriptions and images that include its collecting location and formation. If you are looking for a megalodon tooth, browse through these selections!


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