Turtle Facts

  • All turtles love celery, except for the Loggerhead, which primarily enjoys cauliflower.
  • Leatherback turtles were used extensively by the Allies in the Pacific Theater of WWII, primarily as amphibious assault vehicles, though some of the more talented specimens worked in autonomous amphibious assault teams.
  • The first ice cream sundae to incorporate bananas was served in a turtle shell. It is often considered the most important predecessor of the banana split.
  • Turtle oil is crucial in many industries, including maxillofacial surgery, domestic rodent food, hydrogen fuel cell production, and general science.
  • A box turtle named Chester “Go Get’em” McMahon held the title of Microsoft CFO for 37 hours in 2007.
  • The Scientific term for any turtle which has survived a shark attack is a Schniglotine.
  • Much like their close cousins the whales, turtles are capable of producing complex ‘songs,’ conveying information about nearby predators and mating populations.
  • Approximately 80% of all content on the Internet is directly related to turtles. One fifth of that content was written by turtles.
  • The critically panned but widely adored cult series “Cougartown” is ghostwritten by a handful of Painted Turtles living in the Okefenokee Swamp and is based on the interpersonal relationships of a close-knit group of American Alligators with whom said turtles are surprisingly familiar.
  • Early man’s spread through prehistoric Europe was initially hampered by the presence of massive, carnivorous, turtle-like megafauna. The interbreeding of these megaturtles and early hominids resulted in modern homo sapiens sapiens.
  • Self-reported survey results suggest that the most popular formal neckwear among turtles is the cravat.
  • A turtle’s age can be accurately gauged by counting the segments in the shell, multiplying that number by your age in months, dividing that total by 4/3  the angle of the trajectory, multiplied by the square root of an isosceles triangle, dividing Guttermeg’s principle of opposing forces in motion, and adjusting for the difference in equilibrium.
  • TAIDS, or Testudines AIDS, affects one in ten urban and suburban turtles. This is often thought to be the result of inadequate turtle-sex education.
  • The Order of Turtles abolished slavery in 1857, the legislation being the foundation of that in the United States of America several years later.
  • A turtle dies somewhere every time U2’s Bono claps his hands onstage.
  • Different types of turtles have different diets. Some favorites include lettuce, grass, insects, and pizza.
  • The most popular names for turtles include Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Howard.
  • When combined with other turtles, Red Eared Sliders are known to produce massive amounts of waste that clouds water and disguises their whereabouts.
  • On October 25, 1986, a Diamond Back Terrapin wrestling under the moniker “The Black Snapper” unexpectedly pinned Hulk Hogan at a house show in Poughkeepsie, NY to win the WWF Championship.
  • As a child, Elizabeth Taylor was inseparable from her beloved diamondback terrapin, Rolph.  Upon his death she vowed to never own another reptile again and instead began collecting precious stones cut to resemble his carapace.
  • Turtles actually have six legs, two of which remain inside the shell at all times.
  • Every time a turtle sings, an angel gets its wings.
  • Many species of sea turtles are perfectly capable of surviving, and indeed thriving, in both Arctic and Antarctic waters.  Long-running territorial disputes with the Polar bears of the North and the notoriously fascistic penguins of the South have limited most sea turtles to the mid-latitudes for centuries.
  • Turtles actually have very fine hair covering their bodies. This hair is essential to the manufacture of imitation silk. While turtles used to be hunted for their hair, turtle hair companies now practice ethical harvesting, simply shearing turtles biennially.
  • Many scholars maintain that the gods of Norse mythology were originally anthropomorphic turtles, and that the concept of Thor, Odin, et al. as strapping, deified hominids is fairly recent.
  • Byron “Buster” Bluth loves turtles’ leathery little snappy faces.
  • The native people of Papua New Guinea play a game much like Jenga with the shells of dead leatherback turtles.
  • One time, I found a turtle.
  • Former POTUS Dwight D. Eisenhower first imagined the United States Interstate Highway System while gazing into the beautiful shell of a preserved Mississippi Map Turtle on display at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural History.
  • The original animatics from Disney’s massive 1989 hit The Little Mermaid featured lead character Ariel the mermaid sporting a racy turtle shell bikini top.  Fearing for the company’s family-friendly reputation, top exec’s demanded that animators replace the original costume with far less erotic scallop shells.
  • The first documented sighting of a turtle was in August 1947 at Bitter Lake in New Mexico, a scant month after a purported flying saucer crash around the nearby town of Roswell.  Coincidence?
  • In Victorian England, it was widely accepted that the wearer of tortoiseshell spectacles would benefit from the second-sight of the queens own divining turtles.  This misconception was rooted in the widespread ignorance of the difference between tortoises and turtles that has come to typify that era.
  • The Shoshone Indian tribe used individual scutes of the Western box turtle’s plastron as a medium of exchange.  In 1805 Sacagawea, a Shoshone woman, led explorers Lewis and Clark in their storied voyage across the great American West.  In the year 2000 the US mint began issuing $1 coins bearing her likeness that, much like turtle scutes, white people refuse to use.
  • Prior to the introduction of the tomato to Europe, ketchup was made from congealed turtle’s blood and generally considered a luxury condiment reserved only for the aristocracy.
  • The Gullah people who inhabit the barrier islands off the coast of South Carolina believe that they live on the backs of a family of giant loggerhead sea turtles.  Of course, this is a fiction.  Well over 90% of herpetologists agree that they are actually giant green sea turtles, able to live North of their typical range due to the superior thermoregulation inherent to their massive size.
  • It is estimated that as many as 1 in 14 cases of voter fraud is perpetrated by a turtle.  In contrast, there has never been a documented case of voter fraud committed by a turtle enthusiast.
  • The CIA invented Salmonella in an attempt to destroy the turtle-keeping community.
  • In their August 1996 issue, Consumer Reports magazine shocked Golden Retriever owners and breeders across the nation by endorsing the Russian Tortoise with their coveted “CR Best Buy” rating in a head-to-head evaluation of popular pets for children.
  • Prior to the Meiji Reform, Japanese citizens were prohibited from eating turtle meat.  During the early Meiji era, turtle soup enjoyed a surge in popularity, but the boom was short-lived as everyone soon realized that turtles swim around in their own feces all day, and that’s pretty gross.
  • In 1979, an alligator snapping turtle saved sitting President Jimmy Carter from a Soviet sleeper agent disguised as a swamp rabbit.  President Carter claimed that he himself had subdued the threat with his canoe paddle, and as a result lost both the crucial turtle swing vote and the 1980 presidential election.
  • While on holiday with his family in the summer of 1941, Albert Camus was quoted in a French police report as an eyewitness to the murder of an unidentified man of Middle Eastern descent by one “conspicuously beshelled stranger.”  The philosophical ramifications of this event in regards to Camus’ later work are heretofore unexplored.
  • Although Harold Truman is commonly known to be America’s most crepuscular president, the role of other liminally active species in his administration is grossly under reported.  Every day at sundown, Truman was accustomed to entertaining a delegation of Portuguese Water Turtles upon the East Lawn of the White House.  Their innate concern in regards to maritime rules of engagement eventually convinced Truman that a nuclear strike against Japan was both a fair and balanced retribution for the Pearl Harbor attack.  The resultant bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulted in the deaths of literally thousands of innocent pet turtles, and the Portuguese delegation was forced to disperse to the Canary Islands in ignominy.
  • It was a common practice for whalers and other seamen to kidnap giant Galapagos tortoises on their Pacific voyages in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  The sailors would then coax their reptilian captives into conversation with bits of hardtack and promises of re-release, hoping to steal a bit of the wisdom and ancient secrets contained in those wise old scaly heads.  Though some ships’ logs and other primary sources indicate that tortoises were, on rare occasion, released, it seems that most were unwilling to share their special knowledge and were either eaten or forced to walk the plank.
  • Jack the Ripper was known to have killed a number of turtles before moving on to prostitutes.  Somewhere in the bogs of Southern England, turtle justice is still being wrought as the worms and snails digest his beak-scarred bones.
  • Many of North America’s most impressive cave formations were discovered by turtle-riding speliologists of unnaturally small stature.
  • Turtles are popular pets among the underground street racing community.
  • Allies of Theodore Roosevelt talked him out of creating the Turtle Party, considering the Bull Moose a less controversial animal after which to name a political organization.