Dear Lola,

The other day my young daughter asked me which sea turtle is the fastest in the ocean. Since I have watched the nature channel for years, I was able to confidently answer that the Leatherback is the fastest. Then she asked me how humans tested every turtle in the ocean and I told her I would have to get back to her. So, as you can see, I need to present her with an intelligent answer or risk losing credibility.


Turtle Trouble

Dear Turtle Trouble,

You made a very wise decision to seek out my counsel before answering your Miniature Human. Not only would you have risked losing credibility should your answer lack the proper scientific backing, you also stood to spend the rest of your life hearing your Miniature Human throw back your stupidity in your face. She would be good-natured about it as she reached maturity, but you most certainly would have to eat dinner with a future in-law who was chuckling in their head as they met you for the first time.

Obviously, the fastest sea turtle medal was handed out after The Great Turtle Games were held.

Held every four years in oceans across the world, the turtles gather to test their strength and stamina in various areas of competition. The turtles time their games to coincide with the summer Olympics, to ensure the human species is too preoccupied to wonder why all the turtles seemed to have vanished from their local waters. The humans would most certainly feel obligated to get in the water and figure out a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

The last thing the turtles need is human interference.

The Great Turtle Games last for a week, the judges award the medals, and then the sea turtles from around the world travel back to their homes, boasting of their accomplishments. Obviously, the returning winners are given a parade, which doubles not only as a celebration of their achievements, but also encourages teeny tiny turtles to strive for greatness when they grow up. Unfortunately, the parades had one unforeseen side effect.

Snorkeling humans heard the trumpets.

In order to throw the humans off the scent of a major scientific breakthrough that would lead to more questions than answers, the Leatherback sea turtles decided to scare the humans off. They gathered in a large green group and swam as fast as they could towards the snorkeling scientists. Panicked, the scientists snorkeled as fast as they could until they felt sand under their flippered feet. In order to save face amongst their colleagues, the snorkelers proclaimed that they had tested every species of sea turtle and the Leatherback was the fastest of them all.

Whether or not that is the truth, humans may never know.

All of this is verifiable, should your Miniature Human doubt my credibility. During the next Olympic games, head off to the nearest beach and collect a handful of shells – the bigger the better! Be sure to rinse them well in the water for best results. Hold one shell up to each ear and listen very closely.

You should be able to hear the parade trumpets blowing.


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