Located on Florida's Gulf Coast between Fort Myers and Sarasota lies Venice, the so called “Shark's Teeth Capital of the World”. On any given day at Casperson State Park you will find dozens (if not hundreds) of people walking the miles of beach looking to find fossilized sharks teeth. With a keen eye and a bit of work, it is not uncommon to find a few dozen teeth in the course of an hour or two (it becomes even easier through the use of a handled sifter the locals call “Florida snow shovels”).
With the right conditions, snorkelers in Venice can also cash in on the abundance of teeth. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico off Venice are frequently choppy and murky, but a bit of luck condition-wise can make Venice snorkeling a nice addition to a day at the beach.
When the visibility is at least a few feet (it sounds small, but you will be searching for the teeth in the stones at arms length so you really don't need much more....) head to Casperson State Park at the south end of Venice and hit the water. The best bet is to snorkel within a few yards (if not a few feet) of shore – looking in areas where piles of rocks and shells accumulate for the telltale black outlines of sharks teeth. Occasionally teeth with accumulate at sandbars and breaks that may be 5-25 yards offshore. If you see the water breaking offshore it may be worth a quick trip out to have a look. As always, be careful as riptides are not unheard of in the area and there are no lifeguards at Casperson.
Snorkeling is also an option on the main beach at Venice (closer to the center of town), but a beach restoration project a few years back has covered up the majority of sharks teeth. Still, starfish, interesting shells, sand dollars and small fish are not uncommon finds off the beach. Dolphins are common, and Manatees are a rare but not impossible sighting when you are snorkeling in Venice, Fl.