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Shark Teeth Examined in Polarized Light Look Like Stained Glass [PHOTOS]

Who knew teeth could be so pretty?

Shark teeth are kind of amazing. Not only do sharks have rows upon rows of them, but they can lose their teeth and re-grow them over and over again.

In fact, according to Smithsonian magazine, a great white can grow up to 20,000 teeth in its lifetime.

But it's what's inside that counts, because as shark biologist Joshua Moyer pointed out, shark teeth look like stained glass under the right light.

And it's beautiful.

Above you can see a sand tiger shark's tooth examined under polarized light.

According to The Conversation, polarization highlights the ways and directions that light waves are moving. That's why it's able to light up the different parts of the interior of a shark tooth, because they're made of different materials.

Here's what a shark tooth looks like inside without any special light.

Shark teeth, much like human teeth, have roots, crowns and soft tissue inside called pulp.

The polarized light interacts with the different tissues, giving us these stunning images of the tooth's interior.

Like this lit-up tooth root:

And this blazingly bright mako tooth:

And one more time for good measure because it's just so pretty ...

The sand tiger tooth that comes in shades of yellow, blue and green.

But polarized light doesn't just make shark teeth look extra cool. It's actually how cuttlefish see, according to As Azula previously reported, cuttlefish are colorblind.

But they also need to see their environments so they can shift colors and blend in.

Oh, and hypnotize their prey.


They do this by intaking polarized light, which can separate out the different materials around them and help them change colors — all without being able to traditionally see color like humans do.

Here's cuttlefish vision versus our own:

Pretty handy trick, right? And it doesn't hurt that it makes everything really pretty.

Three multicolored cheers for polarized light.


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