What If Megalodon Was in Your Pool and You Slipped In
60 feet. Longer than a semi-truck. The man reaches his hand out to touch the creature. From nose to tail, it takes him 20 seconds to walk its terrifying length. Count it out, almost half a minute! It’s a long time to run your hand along something with a beating heart and black beady eyes staring down at you — a minuscule little scrap of meat, you.
He’s walking a bit slower than usual, of course. His heart pounds in his chest. Its teeth are as big as his hand. And those massive jaws — lined with them! — if you stood in its mouth, you’d need a friend standing on your shoulders to touch the top! This is the man’s pet. Like a goldfish. Only bigger. It’s a Megalodon. Fancy that. The giant shark that terrorized the oceans some 20 million years ago. For 13 million years, this 60-ton beast dominated the warm waters of our planet. Though, some believe that the Meg still lives in the most remote and deepest parts of the ocean...
You’ve always been interested in the ancient shark. That’s why you became a fossil hunter. And the money’s good too! Those huge 7-inch teeth can go for thousands of dollars a pop! For the past few years, you’ve been traveling around the world in search of such artifacts and making a decent living. Recently, an old buddy of yours told you about this small town where local miners discovered entire deposits of Megalodon teeth! Your friend says the news isn’t out yet, so you decide to go there straight away. Gotta get there before the hordes of other fossil collectors get the word.
You spend days searching rivers, creeks, even digging into their banks and hunting on land. You look for any fresh construction sites around town. And that’s when you find one... You see a group of workers and ask them if they or anyone else in town has found any fossils or large teeth on their excavations. “No, haven’t heard anything about that,” one of them answers with bewilderment. Frustrated, you call a cab and head back to the motel. The driver stops at a red light, and you notice several semis pass by on the road in front of you. The trailers read, “Best meat in the country!”
Probably the local grocery store getting a fresh delivery. But that’s when you notice they all stop at a private driveway off in the distance. The house looks like a mansion. The whole property is surrounded by a high fence. Massive iron gates open, and the trucks drive in. The light turns green, and the cabbie pushes the gas. He glances at you in the rearview mirror. Answering your unspoken question, “Some big-wig scientist lives there. Weird guy. Don’t see ’im out much.”
Your intuition tells you to stay in town a little longer. Something smells off... A house that big with such security. Maybe he found all those Megalodon teeth your friend told you about? From the looks of it, he must’ve found a whole fossilized skeleton! What’s he hiding behind those walls?... You can’t sleep that night. Your obsessive curiosity brings you out to the scientist’s house in the middle of the night. You just want to...see with your own eyes! The fence is even bigger up close. And looks like it’s made of steel or titanium! This guy is definitely hiding something...
You walk along the wall, out around to the back yard. You hear some kind of humming from the other side, like a machine or pump. “Big shot probably has a massive hot tub with that Meg money!” you scoff in your head. The structure is way too high to climb. But you notice a tree nearby. You climb it and carefully grab the wall. You hold on to it with both hands, your legs dangling on the other side. You unclench your fingers and — *thud!* — “Ouch!” Hard landing, but you’re in.
You turn around, and that’s when you see it. A gigantic round pool — must be the size of a football field! Lights under the water barely make the thing glow — it’s deeeep! You get closer to peer over the edge when — oops! — you slip on the wet floor and go plunging in! You open your eyes — it looks even bigger underwater. But then...you see a dark shadow off in the distance.
It’s getting closer. And closer. Within half a second, the form starts to make sense. Fins. Eyes. JAWS! Rows of razor-sharp teeth coming right at you! You’re frozen with fear! A hand grabs your collar and pulls you out of the water. Inches away from your face, the monster’s toothy jaw snaps shut. The scientist saved you. You’re in shock for a few minutes as you cough and catch your breath. You look up at the man, “That was a... Alive!? ... But, it can’t be!”
“A Meg, yes.” He says calmly. He’s a middle-aged man, gray streaks paint his dark hair. His eyes are tired, but already wise. Oddly enough, he doesn’t question your intrusion. Sensing that you’re a fellow enthusiast, he instead tells you a story... Years ago, he was out doing some research in the ocean. That’s when he found a badly injured shark caught up in some fishing net. It needed surgery, so he brought it back to his lab and operated. While the specimen was healing, the scientist realized this was no ordinary shark. It was a Megalodon baby!
He knew he couldn’t set it free, and he couldn’t tell anyone! The shark could never live an ordinary life if that happened. So he kept it. But as the years passed, the already big baby grew. 10 feet, then 20, 30, and then double that! The first problem he met was the size of the pool. Sharks always need to be in motion, so one thing was obvious: the pool needed to be round. If a dolphin needs a 24×24-foot space, and they’re 1/10th the size of a Meg, then this pool needed to have a diameter of at least 240 feet. Yep, just shy of a football field — your initial estimation was right.
To pump water into it, the scientist would have to build a house near the sea. But coastal towns are usually crowded — too many prying eyes. (He gives you a sly grin.) So, he had an elaborate water system built underground. It runs for miles, long enough for him to stay pretty remote, but also gets the 1 million gallons of salt water he needs to fill the pool.
But the most difficult part is the feeding. When Megalodon roamed the global seas, it’d live on large fish, whales, and even other sharks! To keep a Megalodon at home, you’ll need — well, besides a lot of money — tons of meat. About 2,500 pounds a day. That’s the size of a full-grown bull. He has the meat shipped by the truckload.
Megalodon was a very active fish. It was always on the move and hunting. To keep it from getting bored, the scientist hooks the meat onto a large mechanical fish. The robot just swims around the pool, and the Meg tries to catch it all the time. Its teeth leave noticeable marks on the metal. When the bot’s severely damaged, the scientist takes it out of the pool and repairs it. And then it all starts over again.
“But now I understand that she needs to go back where she came from. My family and I have even grown to love her like a pet over these 15 years. But I need to let her go. Hmm. Maybe...you can help?” It takes some planning over a few weeks.
But together with the scientist, you put the shark in a huge tank full of water— it takes a crane to lift her. You load the thing onto a ship, and sail it far away from the shore. As the onboard crane lowers her into the water, the scientist hands you a massive Meg tooth.
“Here, take this... and thanks for your help.” His eyes are misty as he watches her swim away. But this time, you decide not to sell it. No, this is a souvenir for the memory...