While diving in alligator-infested waters, a guy discovered a rare, complete mammoth jaw.
He believes its age is almost 10,000 years.
Fossil Junkies Dig & Dive Charters is run by John Kreatsoulas. He came across the find of a lifetime on Tuesday when exploring the Peace River in the vicinity of Arcadia for potential dive sites.
He goes by Captain John and considers himself an obsessive fossil collector.
“As a kid, my grandmother took me to the library, and they had a little fossil dig. There was a little shark’s teeth in a gravel box kit, and I was hooked,” said John.
Since then, he’s progressed from that little gravel box to diving into the alligator-infested waterways of Southwest Florida.
“I strictly only dive in the wintertime.” said John. “When the water gets cool like this, the gators are more dormant.”
However, such was not the case on Tuesday. Captain John said that his friend noticed something he missed and pulled him out of the water.
“So I went up to the surface, and when I got back up there, he said, ‘You didn’t see that big gator?’ I said, ‘No, I wasn’t looking for gators, I was looking for fossils!” said John.
It is fortunate that he did not lose sight of the fossils, for the next day, Captain John discovered what he he thought was a log in the same location.
“I grabbed onto it just to hold on for a second, and I realized, ‘Wait for a second, that’s not a tree; that was a mammoth jaw,” said Kreatsoulas.
Captain John is taking this jaw to Ancient Artworks in Tampa. The jaw will be restored, and the molars will be reattached. He is filing the fossil’s Florida state registration. State representatives may choose to take it. If not, the fossil will be proudly on display in his living room among the rest of his collection.
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