Man finds shark tooth in his foot 25 years after being bitten

He’s got a whale of a story to tell.

A man who was bitten by a shark while surfing off the coast of Florida in 1994 has finally learned which species had the nerve to chomp down on him — thanks to the tooth that’s been lodged in his foot all these years.

Last year, Jeff Weakley yanked out the tooth from the mystery shark that bit him a quarter century ago off Flagler Beach, tweezing open a “blister-like bulge on his foot,” according to the Florida Museum of Natural History It’s unclear if the remnant had caused him discomfort all this time.

Weakley, who was planning to turn the small tooth into a pendant, instead decided to hand it over to scientists at the Florida Museum of Natural History — who conducted a DNA test and revealed the offending sea creature to be a blacktip shark.

“I was very excited to determine the identity of the shark because I’d always been curious,” Weakley, an editor of Florida Sportsman magazine said. “I was also a little bit hesitant to send the tooth in because for a minute I thought they would come back and tell me I’d been bitten by a mackerel or a houndfish – something really humiliating.”

Weakley, 46, did, however, say he always suspected that he was bitten by a blacktip – a species not shy about biting humans, according to the museum.

Director of The Florida Program of Shark Research Gavin Naylor said that it came as a shock that there was any viable DNA left in the tooth fragment to analyze.

“I had put our odds of success at slim to none,” said Naylor, who co-authored the group’s findings in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine.

Naylor’s laboratory manager, Lei Yang, said he thought “it was kind of weird” to test the tooth, but found it intriguing.

“It was a mystery waiting for us to uncover,” said Yang, who added, “If I was bitten by a shark, I would want to know what it was.”

Weakley said that after he was bitten by the shark, he was back in the water — with his foot encased in a waterproof bandage and bootie – in a couple of weeks.

He still continues to surf and fish weekly.

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