You never know what treasures the sea might hold.

Mastodon Fossil
Credit: Courtesy Chon Carlile

One lucky family came home from a Myrtle Beach vacation which an extra-special souvenir last week.

The Sun News reports that Chon Carlile, who was visiting from Lexington, North Carolina, with his wife and kids, was combing the surf near 9th Avenue South when he came across a partial mastodon tooth.

"Me and the kids were sifting for shark teeth when I spotted what I thought was trash rolling in the waves," Carlile recalled to The Sun News. "When I picked it up though, you could see a slick sheen and patterns in it. I was excited I found something cool but had no clue until doing a little more research."

Carlile contacted the Fossils of Myrtle Beach Facebook page, a group that coordinates with local museums to identify fossils, for more information on his peculiar find. According to the group, Carlile's fossil was a super-rare mastodon molar, which belonged to an elephant that went extinct more than 10,000 years ago.

"I have been stoked about it ever since, even more so, acting more giddy than my 7-year-old!" Carlile told WFMY News 2.

Fossils of Myrtle Beach South Carolina has a few ideas as how the fossil ended up on the beach. "Probably due to the dredging or even the recent storms like Florence," the group told WFMY News 2. "The hurricanes eroded away a good portion of our beach, so they have been dredging, pumping sand onto shore."

Carlile, a self-described outdoorsman, reportedly plans to add the tooth to his fossil collection and contact a paleontologist for more information. If it has a lot of value, he hopes that it will one day end up in a museum.

Keep those eyes peeled, y'all!