Many young children dream of finding the fossilized remains of a monster on the beach, although few actually get to see that dream come true.
The Boston native made the tremendous discovery during a family vacation earlier this month, according to local station WMBF.
“My son found a megalodon tooth on his 5th birthday while digging on Myrtle (Beach),” the boy’s mother, Marissa Drew, wrote on Facebook.
“What a gift!” she added in an interview with WMBF.
Megalodon teeth are not uncommon discoveries on Myrtle Beach, where a few of them turn up each year. In 2020, for example, another five-year-old found a tooth under similar circumstances, though it was not his birthday at the time.
The teeth can measure up to six inches long, with the largest potentially worth thousands of dollars.
Megalodon lived between 3.6 and 23 million years ago, when it terrorized the oceans as the largest shark ever. It measured an estimated 18 metres (60 feet) long and weighed up to 50 tons, making it roughly three times the size of its modern-day descendant, the great white.
Many different shark species, including the great white, now swim in the waters off South Carolina, and their teeth often wash up on shore.
None of those teeth, however, will ever measure up to Brayden’s palm-sized birthday present.