In different parts of the world, people search for all types of artifacts. Here is Cullman; citizens will search for arrowheads or maybe old war memorabilia. But, for Cullman Police Officer and North Alabama Dive Center Assistant Dive instructor David Brooks he came across a once-in-a-lifetime finding.
The North Alabama Dive Center took its yearly dive trip to Venice, Florida, August 6th through the 8th in search of artifacts. Venice is known for divers searching the waters for shark teeth, and the local dive team found plenty of teeth ranging from Tiger, Bull, Mako, and even Megalodon shark teeth. The team ultimately wants to find that large Megalodon tooth. The local dive shop displays their findings, and to date, the shop’s largest Megalodon tooth is around four inches meaning the shark would have been roughly forty feet long. (For every inch of the tooth is approximately ten feet of shark). Tiger, Bull, and Mako shark teeth are a dime a dozen, but to come across a giant Megalodon tooth is a bit rarer.
While David Brooks was diving around thirty feet deep, looking for anything and everything he could find, he came across something that, at the time, he was unsure of what it could be. He dug around and was eventually able to determine it was a bone but unaware of what kind of bone he had discovered. Brooks dug around and was able to retrieve the bone out of the mud and sand securely. He attempted to carry the bone back to the surface but quickly realized it was too big of a job for just himself. Brooks went back to the surface of the water and ask for help. Diving partner Cody Hipp dove back to the bottom, and between the two divers, they were able to safely bring the bone back to the surface and place it in the boat. The boat Captain knew immediately what type of bone they had found, and after research, the North Alabama Dive Team confirmed that Brooks had found a three-foot, fifty-pound Columbian Mammoth leg bone. Brooks was flabbergasted of the finding, especially when he realized the rarety. In the Venice area, there have only been two or three Mammoth leg bones found. The Columbian Mammoth has been extinct for roughly ten thousand years, making it a rarety.
In addition to the Mammoth leg and shark teeth, the team was able to retrieve part of a mammoth tusk, deer antler, stingray barbs and mouth plate, large whale teeth, the inner ear of a whale, a whale rib bone, whale vertebrae, a three-toed horse tooth, a bone from a dugong, and a 50 caliber shell from World War 2.
If you want to see the findings, they are displayed at Cullman’s North Alabama Dive Shop. In addition, you can contact Eric or Jennifer Parker with the North Alabama Dive Shop for more information about becoming a diver or the annual trip to Venice, FL.