If there's one thing that probably not to hard to see at a dentist's office, it's teeth, yet I was stunned by the tooth I saw at the office of Dr. James Crouse recently in Salisbury. You see, Dr. Crouse is a certified scuba diver, so whatever cool stuff he finds on the ocean floor he basically scoops up and takes back with him to the home or office. What that means is that I was able to hold the fossilized tooth of a megalodon (an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 28 to 1.5 million years ago, during the Cenozoic Era) in my hand for the first time ever!
Have you seen those pictures (which are all over the web, incidentally) of an absurdly enormous pair of jaws in which a full-grown adult human male is standing, with plenty of room left over for not only his immediate family to join him but his SUV, too? Well, those jaws had once fit inside the mouth of a megalodon.
I keep thinking about that scene in Jaws, in which Matt Hooper pulls a tooth the "size of a shot glass" out of the hull of Ben Gardner's boat, which was right before Ben's ugly one-eyed head popped out to gurgle hi to Hooper, while Brody was up on the deck of Hooper's boat, embalming himself with the wine Hooper had brought to dinner earlier that evening. Thing is, I'm really sympathetic to Brody and definitely could have made great use of a shot glass myself once I'd held the megalodon tooth in my own rather large hand and saw that the tooth was almost as large! In fact, megalodon fossil teeth can easily reach more than seven inches in diagonal length. I wouldn't want to see THAT cavity, I'll tell ya.
Yet, I am half-tempted to fake a cavity of my own so that I can get a look at the rest of his collection! Good ol' Doc Crouse says he'll happily show that tooth and many others to any patient of his who asks. So, take it from me: Ask!
Anyway, the bad news is that I'm probably gonna have bad dreams for the next few nights about being swallowed by a megalodon that’s hiding in my bathtub.
The good news? I'm not afraid of vampires anymore.