On October 16, a tooth of an enormous and long-extinct prehistoric shark — the Megalodon — washed up in North Myrtle Beach in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. It was discovered by a local man named Nat Campbell, and though this seems like an innocent example of an amateur fossil discovery, it is suspiciously timed with a production announcement of a big-budget sci-fi horror movie — Meg — that focuses on a Megalodon that still lives among us.
In 1997, Steve Alten began a series of books with the novel titled Meg: Terror From the Deep. This spawned five book sequels, including the most recent entry in the series: Meg: Night Stalkers. Last week — around the same time this new Megalodon tooth washed up — Warner Bros released the synopsis and first photo for the film version of Meg, now in production. Starring Jason Statham and Li Bingbing, the movie will presumably find the pair fighting against Meg while maybe trying to pry loose some of her awesome teeth.
The Megalodon was a real-life undersea beast living nearly 2.6 million years ago. Thought it was bigger than a Tyrannosaurus Rex, it did not live at the same time as the dinosaurs. The Megalodon is also not the same creature as the sea-monster-dino, Mosasaurus, seen in Jurassic World. Sea creatures who lived during the time of the dinosaurs, and after, are not actually “dinosaurs,” meaning Meg is not a “dinosaur shark” even though in some versions, the cover of the first book shows the shark eating a T-Rex.
For now, you can chalk this newly discovered IRL Megalodon tooth and the announcement of the movie Meg to convenient synchronicity … or some kind of plot to get everyone super afraid of “real” prehistoric sharks before the movie eventually surfaces.