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How to Find Sharks' Teeth

Updated on July 20, 2016

find black gold on the beach

Sharks' teeth are like black gold, historically speaking. They're amazing examples of ancient fossils, and some can be very valuable. Best of all, they can be found right on the sand, for free. All it takes is a sharp eye, a little effort, and some luck. I've always enjoyed shelling and saltwater fishing, and I went through a period when I was an avid searcher of sharks' teeth, or shark teeth, as some people call them. Most of my searches have been on Georgia's barrier islands and the islands and beaches of Northeast Florida, but I'm sure you can find shark teeth just about anywhere that's adjacent to salt water.

Sharks' teeth found in Florida.
Sharks' teeth found in Florida.

As an avid beach-goer, I enjoy shelling. My favorite thing to find is shark teeth. Actually, of course, these aren’t shells, at all, but since they’re found on the beach as gifts from the sea, they’re usually loosely considered seashells. The teeth can be used to make jewelry, and sometimes groups of them are mounted and framed. They make great conversation pieces. Many beach towns have souvenir stores and gift shops that sell sharks’ teeth and sharks’ teeth jewelry, and if you’ve priced these, you know that they’re usually pretty expensive, especially for the larger specimens. Why not try to find your own on your next trip to the seashore? If you enjoy saltwater fishing from shore, looking for shark teeth is a great way to pass the time while you're waiting for a bite. Just stick your rod in the holder or sand spike and start searching!

About the shark’s teeth

Almost all the sharks’ teeth you find are not actually the teeth themselves but fossils of the teeth. Sharks are constantly losing teeth, and as they do so, a new one moves up to take its place. When the lost teeth sink to the bottom of the ocean and becomes buried in sediment, it begins to fossilize. The minerals in the sediment gradually replace the original tooth material. This process takes thousands of years to complete.

Fossilized shark teeth are different colors, depending on the sediment in which they were buried. Most are black and dark grey, while some are brown or tan. Fossilized sharks’ teeth of unusual colors are rare and are more valuable.

Fossilized sharks’ teeth you find on the beach or in the water are probably millions of years old. In fact, the shark species the teeth belonged to might very well have been extinct for millennia.

Sharks’ teeth found in Georgia and Florida range in size from less than a half inch to over six inches. These large teeth are from megalodon sharks and are extremely rare.

How to find sharks’ teeth

There are no set rules for finding fossilized shark teeth. If you ask five or six “experts,” chances are that you’ll get five or six different answers. I can only tell you what works for me.

Go to the beach at low tide, and look for tide lines – the lines of debris along the beach. Walk the tide lines and look for black triangles. These are the sharks’ teeth. While not all fossilzed teeth are exactly triangular in shape, most are. Others, like those of the sand tiger shark and the short-finned mako, are more stiletto-like in shape. Lemon shark teeth are shaped like the bone of a T-bone steak. If there are a lot of shells, scoop up a handful or bucketful and sift through them for teeth. You might want to collect a pail of shells and sit in your lounge chair while you search through them.

Another good place to look for sharks’ teeth is at the water’s edge. If you have a lot of competition on the beach, this might be your best chance of finding teeth because you’ll see them before any other collectors have a chance.

If any sandbars are visible at low tide, wade out to them. This is often a great place to find the teeth. As you’re walking through the water, feel the bottom with your toes. Sharks teeth and interesting seashells are sometimes trapped between sandbars or between the sandbar and the shoreline.

If you’re at a beach that has clear, calm surf, try snorkeling to search for shark teeth. I like to float in shallow water and lightly run my fingers through the sandy bottom. I’ve found some beautiful shells this way, along with numerous sharks’ teeth. I need to warn you, though, if you see a flat fish-shape buried under the sand, it’s probably either a flounder or a sting ray. Flounder don’t sting; stingrays do. If you gently disturb the sand behind the ray, he’ll go along his merry way, but try not to surprise him. Stingray barbs are nasty – I know from personal experience. I tell that story in my “Killer Manatee” article.

Many people find that shark teeth are more abundant on the new moon and the full moon because the pull of the tide is stronger. I don’t know if this is true, but I do know that after a storm or high winds, there will be more teeth and more shells in general on the beach.

Also, if you can find an area where dredged sand has been added to a beach or near a beach, this is a great place to look for sharks’ teeth.

If you find some treasures and are interested in their age or from what shark species they came, a quick online search will give you some answers. Also, a local shop will probably be able to help you.

Shelling and searching for sharks’ teeth is a great way to spend a couple of hours. Kids love it, too, and it can be a real learning experience for them. Even if you don’t find any shark teeth, you’ll have enjoyed the beach and gotten some exercise!

 

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    • profile image

      Rose H 3 months ago

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      I was Googling how to find shark teeth since we're headed to Myrtle Beach in three weeks. Great hub, Habee! I have a six year old and a four year old, and I can't wait to comb the beach with them, looking for black triangles!

    • profile image

      ross 5 years ago

      tinyurl.com/dyzltew

    • profile image

      joeyjo197613@yahoo.com 5 years ago

      i was working at a job site in simpsonvile ga where some dirt was brought in but anyways i found alot of shark teeth and have been hooked on wanting to find more we arent aloud back to the job site so im going crazy on where to go now im in waynesboro ga and if you know where i can go around here or within 50 moile i would love the info so i can take my son on a hunt please help im hooked

    • PADDYBOY60 profile image

      PADDYBOY60 5 years ago from Centreville Michigan

      I love the beach, but right now I am stuck in Michigan. So far I haven't found any sharks teeth around here. But after I retire I plan to live closer to the ocean.

    • profile image

      bree 5 years ago

      i think im rich

    • profile image

      John D 6 years ago

      I have lots of small sharks teeth from a beach near Sarasota wish I knew where it was my parents took me. I am going to Florida this week.

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      Chris 6 years ago

      looking for teeth on the Connecticut beaches would be a waste of time ,... no sharks swim over here !!!

    • StephenSMcmillan profile image

      StephenSMcmillan 6 years ago

      Again, another nice hub from you habee! It had fascinating topic.

    • thedutchman profile image

      thedutchman 6 years ago

      This is fun.Cool! Collecting shark's teeth. lol

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Yeah, that would be a lot more shark teeth than you'd want at one time! lol

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      konrel 6 years ago

      Habee, that is a nice picture of shark teeth. I hope to go out this summer to the beach and try your tip to finding shark teeth. I just dont want to find any gripping my leg. :)

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Ha! Funny, Glem!

    • Glemoh101 profile image

      Glemoh101 6 years ago

      I can find sharks teeth by using Google searching for it

      haha!!!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Kirsten, finding those kinds of fossils would be way cool! The only ones I've found are the sharks' teeth.

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      Habee - what a fantastic idea! A few years ago I did some camping on the coast of the UK known as the Jurassic coast to find fossils (we found some really small ones to bring home and huge boulders full of fossils) but I did not think to look for shark teeth. Next time I am visiting the beach I know what I will be looking for (in addition to fossils of course).

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading!

    • thedutchman profile image

      thedutchman 6 years ago

      enjoyed reading this hub. nice share.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Cartloop, thanks for visiting!

      Stumbler, have you tried Ebay?

    • profile image

      stumbler007 6 years ago

      pretty cool article here, trying to find where to buy some, don't have time to comb the beaches! Thanks.

    • cartloop profile image

      cartloop 6 years ago from Sacramento

      Very cool sounds like fun! Never thought of looking for sharks teeth but I do a lot of diving and after reading this post next time I am out I am looking :) Thanks for the great hub.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      hi, Todd. Thanks!

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      toddO 7 years ago

      WE LIKE TO GO SHARK TOOTH HUNTING AT "MANASOTA BEACH" ON MANASOTA KEY FLORIDA "not in the keys. THE REALLY NEAT PART IS NORTH OF THE PUBLIC BEACH ARE ALL PRIVATE HOMES WITH NO PUBLIC BEACH ACCESSES. THIS MEANS MOSTLY PRIVATE HOME OWNERS SCOWER THE BEACHES FOR SHARKS TEETH. MANASOTA HOTEL "A DIVE " IS JUST OVER THE CAUSWAY. NO POOL BUT CHEAP WITH A FULL KITCHEN. HAPPY HUNTING.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Jane! It really is fun...and relaxing!

    • profile image

      johan0111 7 years ago

      asdf

    • Jane@CM profile image

      Jane@CM 7 years ago

      Very cool habee - this sounds like great fun!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Best of luck in your search for sharks' teeth, Alya!

    • Alya rose profile image

      Alya rose 7 years ago from From beyond the reeds

      Oooooh!now I'm itching to get out there on the beach and find my very own shark teeth!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      True, Nicks! Thanks for reading!

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      Nicks 7 years ago

      Habee - a useful Hub. The problem, of course, is how to keep kids busy and hunting for shark's teeth strikes me as 'exciting' and something a bit different. Useful!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Yep, Keith, I'd think they're pretty rare in WI! Come to the GA or FL coast to find some sharks' teeth.

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Hunting for shark teeth sounds like fun. They are hard to find in Wisconsin though. I might need a little vacation to start my collection.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Ek!

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      ek 7 years ago

      This is an interesting article

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading, Air!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Steph, I dunno. All the ones I've found were in GA and FL. Ask AKirchner!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Bd, sharks scare me, but not sharks' teeth. lol

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Lannie, thanks for reading!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Kelly!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Lew, sometimes you have to sift for them.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks a bunch, Shawn!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Happy hunting, Milko!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Yes, Gift, but these sharks have been dead for a LONG time!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Beth, hope you find some!

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      air jordan 7 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading it

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Love the photo! My kids would love to find sharks' teeth! I wonder if we would find some along the Oregon Coast?

    • bd160900 profile image

      bd160900 7 years ago from San Diego

      Very nice article! I am an ocean lover but sharks still scare be.

    • Lannie Briden profile image

      Lannie Briden 7 years ago

      hey, really cool hub! I've never hunted sharks teeth hehe.

    • kellydove profile image

      kellydove 7 years ago

      great hub

    • lewgard profile image

      Kathleen Lewis 7 years ago from Southern Michigan

      Great hub, Habee! I love shelling, beach strolling, etc. While in Florida a few months ago I kept my eyes peeled for shark's teeth, but did not find any - darn. Hopefully next time.

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 7 years ago from The Lone Star State

      This is a very interesting hub. I really enjoyed reading it.

    • milkomeda profile image

      milkomeda 7 years ago from America

      amazing Hub Habee, I'll try and look for some shark teeth next time I go to the beach. :)

    • Gift Experts profile image

      Gift Experts 7 years ago

      Neat Hub and photo of the teeth. Hate to have those too close to home :(

    • BethShay777 profile image

      BethShay777 7 years ago

      That's so cool. I'm gonna try that next time I go to the beach! Great Hub! :)

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Good, Jeanie - let me know!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Rt, maybe they're not on all beaches??

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Lender, I've found lots of them!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Jay, thanks for reading!

    • jeanie.stecher profile image

      jeanie.stecher 7 years ago from Seattle

      Nice hub habe. =) I wold definitely try to find one with my baby on the beach. This should be fun. =) I will comment on your hub again if I found one. =)

    • rt-cal profile image

      rt-cal 7 years ago from Australia

      I live on the Coast and have never found any, but im might start looking for some.

    • lender3212000 profile image

      lender3212000 7 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

      Wow, cool article! Have you found a lot of them? I've picked up some pretty interesting shells for my collection but never anything quite that unique! I'll have to keep my eyes open next time I'm at the beach.

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      jay jared 7 years ago

      Love the article! I used to do this as a kid at Myrtle beach in South Carolina.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Cool, Surfer! The Jax area usually has a fair amount of sharks' teeth!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Bat, keep looking for shark teeth. You'll find some!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Maybe you'll find some more, Wade!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Locker, I'm not sure. One of our hubbers said the Mediterranean doesn't have many sharks.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Richard, that's a great memory! Thanks for reading!

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      Surfer Boi 7 years ago

      I love looking for sharks teeth after I go surfing. Usually the beach my wife and I go to has a lot of smaller sharks teeth at low tide. We usually come out with about 5 sharks teeth per trip. This is in North Florida near Jacksonville

    • Bat eyes profile image

      Bat eyes 7 years ago

      I always go to the beach, but I can never find any sharks' teeth. :(

    • wade11hicks profile image

      wade11hicks 7 years ago

      Wow very interesting, I remember finding pieces of teeth in the sand at the beach but I just didn't know what it was. Gosh, only if I knew, I would of saved them.

    • Locker profile image

      Locker 7 years ago from 127.0.0.1

      Not this is some unique Hub!

      I don't think I have ever seen one, I wonder if those can be found in the Mediterranean too?

    • profile image

      Richard Stephen 7 years ago

      This hub really brought back memories of my childhood days in Myrtle Beach, SC. We used to collect shark teeth by the dozens as they washed up on the shore. It never got old! Shark tooth necklaces were popular back then and we would make candy money selling them to the guys that made the necklaces. Thanks for the memories!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Billy, this is a great way to entertain the kids for a couple of hours!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      You're soooo right, Nifty! I love the ocean, the gulf, tidal creeks, and marshes!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Bob!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Kids would love these treks for sharks teeth - thanks Habee

    • nifty@50 profile image

      nifty@50 7 years ago

      Great hub habee! I think any kind of beach combing has got to be fun! A bad day at the beach.....there's no such thing!

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      bob 7 years ago

      sup

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Great, Plapa! Good luck!

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      Plapa 7 years ago from Portugal

      Ahah, finally I got something to do when I go to the beach. Thanks x)

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading, Leslie!

    • Leslie Jo Barra profile image

      Leslie Jo Barra 7 years ago

      We used to live in NC and look for them all the time. There is a place you can go to at the beginning of the Outer Banks where there is a museum and mounds of earth from a nearby phosporous mine that you can sift through and look for shark's teeth. Thanks for bringing back the memory.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for the kind comment, Nick!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Warrior!

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      NickSimpson 7 years ago from Jacksonville, Illinois

      Cool, Cool, Cool! What an extraordinary hub!

      Thanks for sharing all of you knowledge and expertise,

      Nick

    • PrayerWarrior101 profile image

      PrayerWarrior101 7 years ago

      Cool Hub, thanks

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Herbi, look for some shark teeth next time you go to the beach!

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      Oooooh I want some. How beautiful!!!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Good, Dobo! Hope you find some sharks' teeth!

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      dobo700 7 years ago from Australia

      I'm always walking the beach, next time I'll be looking down more. Thanks

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Konrel! I guess you can find them on most beaches.

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      konrel 7 years ago

      Nice article on finding shark teeth. I found some in a collection my uncle gave me but never thought to look for them on the beach. This summer I plan to shark teeth hunt on the beach like you explained how to. Cool article. Thanks for the tips for shark teeth hunting.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Cool, lalesu!

    • lalesu profile image

      lalesu 7 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon

      Topsail Beach, NC! My favorite place to hunt. Thanks for a fun and interesting hub.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Good luck in your quest, Shareitt!

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      shareitt 7 years ago

      Very cool, as you can see I love the beach...what an awesome day it would be to find some shark teeth! :) Thanks for the tips!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I'm with you, DT!

    • Doberman Training profile image

      Doberman Training 7 years ago

      Good hub, thanks!

      i hope to never find teeth with a shark attached :-D

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      1berry, we don't kill sharks to get the teeth. These teeth are fossilized - from sharks that have been dead for millions of years. You find them on the beach.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Charlie! I collect spear points, also.