The great white shark is impressively terrifying (though not actually much of a threat to humans). “I was very excited to determine the identity of the shark because I’d always been curious,” Weakley, who is also an editor of Florida Sportsman magazine, said in a release from the museum. “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.
For his part, Weakley doesn’t hold any grudge toward the blacktip that bit him, nor toward sharks in general. “I’ve been lucky to have not been bitten by a dog, but I would regard that interaction I had with that shark as being no different or more destructive than a dog bite,” he said. “I certainly don’t have a hatred of sharks or any feeling of vindictiveness toward them.
Thanks to scientists at the Florida Museum of Natural History, Jeff Weakley was able to find out the identity of the creature whose tooth was lodged in his body for over two decades: a blacktip shark.