Many organizations that promote ocean health use sea turtles to represent their cause. This is in part because of the trouble they face as endangered animals. Throughout history, many cultures adopted sea turtles as symbols for many different themes as well. Because of their long lifespan, sea turtles often symbolize patience, wisdom, endurance, and good luck. Let us work together to make sure sea turtles continue to have long lives without the dangers of plastic pollution.
In Hawaii, sea turtles are the only indigenous reptile to the islands and represent good luck. Sea turtle hatchlings must make their way from their nest on the beach to the ocean without being eaten by birds, crabs, and other land predators. Once in the ocean, they are easy snack food to other animals until they grow bigger and stronger. It is estimated that only 1 in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings will survive to adulthood. Adult sea turtles beat the odds, so they make a wonderful symbol for luck.
Native American folklore actually referred to the North American as “Turtle Island.” According to the story, North America is perched on the back of a very large turtle who volunteered its shell as a home for all of the land animals. A turtle’s shell is strong enough to carry the weight of the continent on its back, and with it their actual home.
How lucky are we that sea turtles are not just symbols and stories of the past, but still swim in our oceans today! Let us continue to give sea turtles the best luck out in their ocean home by skipping the straw, saying no thanks to plastic grocery bags, or lighting luminaries instead of releasing balloons.
Our sea turtle hatchlings are growing quickly. This week Turtle A weighs 630 grams and is 15.3 cm long. Turtle B weighs 928 grams and masures 17.9 cm long. Not sure what to do with this weight and length? Learn more in our Hatchling to Yearling lesson plan.