On the 16th of June, we celebrate World SeaTurtle Day to raise awareness about endangered sea turtles every year. It is also another opportunity to raise awareness about endangered marine life.
Did you know that six out of seven species of sea turtles are threatened with extinction?
Yupp!! Sea turtles are losing their lives and this has ‘human beings’ written all over it. We play a huge role in making this happen… and we SHOULD NOT be proud of it!
Before we talk about the endangerment of sea turtles, let us enlighten you with some cute and cool fun facts about our beloved sea turtles.
COOL FUN FACTS ABOUT ENDANGERED SEA TURTLES
THE GOOD: More Like Cool
1. Endangered Sea Turtles Love Jellyfish
You're probably wondering how is this even possible?!
But hear us out….
Sea turtles eat both plants and animals, and when they're hungry, they will not hesitate to eat fish or jellyfish. Just as you can get hangry (angry because you're hungry), they get hangry too lol.
Since jellyfish swim slowly, the turtles will not hesitate to take their time eating the jellyfish until it has devoured it all. Check out the video below to see an endangered sea turtle devour a jellyfish.
Video credit: National Geographic
🙀 lol We know right!!
Pretty sneaky for creatures thought to be cute and harmless. 🤣
2. Endangered Sea Turtles Can Detect The Earth Field And Use it As a Magnetic Compass
Image credit: Pexels
The more you read on the more you realize that sea turtles are super cool and smart.
We felt the same way when writing this blog post… so read on!
According to National Geographic, loggerhead sea turtles can find the exact beach they were born at. And, they do this by following the invisible magnetic fields of the earth. This is because coastlines have different magnetic signatures. The turtles can detect them and follow them to go back to their original places of birth. Sort of like an internal compass.
Think of it as their different birth certificates.
3. The Temperature of Endangered Sea Turtle Nests Dictates The Sex of Baby Turtles
Image credit: The Indian Exress
Sea turtles don't host a gender reveal party to know their baby's gender 😂. Imagine if they did though, how would it all work? Lol
According to Florida Atlantic Education, the sex of turtles is defined by the temperature of the turtle’s nesting environment.
If the nesting place is warm, then the turtles will turn out as females. But cooler temperature produces males.
How cool is that?
THE BAD: Animals That Prey on Endangered Sea Turtles
As much as sea turtles can boldly eat jellyfish, they also have animals that prey on them. Pretty ironic how mother nature works. One moment it's eating another animal for lunch because it's hangry... the next, another different animal eats it because it's hangry. Lol
Glad to say at least human beings don't eat each other…
That would be awkward.
So let's find out more about the animals that devour sea turtles.
Image credit: Minttwist
Elasmobranchii, that's the scientific name of sharks.
Try to pronounce it...
Sounds like you're casting one of those Harry Potter spells. 😂
It's kinda hard to believe that other sea creatures, especially sharks, can eat endangered sea turtles. Well, sea turtles are protected by their seemingly hard shells, so how are sharks able to eat them, you may be wondering?
Bull Sharks and Great White Sharks can easily penetrate and bite right through a sea turtle's shell. Turns out that sea turtles are high in proteins and taste good.
According to Starnewsonline, sharks can even patrol or swim closer to shore waiting for new hatchlings in the ocean so they can eat them. This means, the more sea turtles there are on beaches, the more sharks swim close to shore.
Feels creepy and scary all at the same time.
2. Killer Whales
Image credit: Fox News
Imagine if you were able to eat everything you ever wanted, no allergies, nothing.
How'd that make you feel?
If you can't relate to this, killer whales can. Killer Whales eat up to 140 different species in the ocean including leatherback sea turtles. The marine animals they eat include penguins, sharks, dolphins, octopuses, and squids.
This is crazzzzyyyyyyy… The whales also find sea turtles delicious. Lol
Some of these fun facts are so hard to believe, don’t you think so?
The messed-up thing is that human beings also play a part in all these.
Let's find out how human beings contribute to the extinction of sea turtles.
Image credit: Puntarenas
Humans have been doing a good job being Karens (yea, the rude Karen everyone was talking about) towards marine life. We should feel terrible about it!
Did you know that there are people who collect turtle eggs and allegedly use them as drugs?
Yeah, they steal turtle eggs to get high. According to Seaworld, they are alleged to help increase one's sexual activity as well as enhance pleasure and performance. Poaching turtle eggs has become rampant and popular amongst Panamanian poachers. They contributed to a 30% increase in poaching turtle eggs since 1996. They collect them on trucks and sell them in bars in Panama.
Who even thinks of doing things like this? What was their motive? We think this is just gross! But, there isn't any evidence to support the rumors that sea turtle eggs act as an aphrodisiac. The only thing that we are sure of is that sea turtle eggs are not safe for humans to eat. They have high levels of metal that are not good for humans.
This irresponsible act contributes to endangered sea turtles going extinct and it is upon us to do something about it.
What are you going to do about this?
The Ugly: Biggest Threats Against Sea Turtles
1. Climate Change
Image credit: WWF
Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face as a collective of plants, animals, and human beings. As sea levels rise due to global warming, this will destroy sea turtles’ beach habitats. They will have nowhere to lay their eggs.
As if that's not enough, an increase in temperature means that there will be more females than males. This is because the gender of a turtle is dependent on the temperature of its nesting area. And if there aren't any males to mate with to increase the sea turtle population, they will become extinct.
Or even worse, temperatures may be too high and the eggs that are already in the ground won't hatch.
2. Coastal Development
Image credit: Pexels
We know and understand how important the beach is in our ecosystem. It works as a nesting place for turtles. It's also a place where we can all go and spend quality time with our loved ones. If you are like us who love meditation, the beach is a therapeutic place for ocean meditation.
But, building new houses or establishments near to or on the beach reduces the space of the turtle's nesting place. Imagine if someone came and kicked you out of your house without any explanation whatsoever.
How would you feel about it?
That's how sea turtles feel when we invade and bring developments on or around the beach.
Additionally, new hatchlings can be confused when trying to find the ocean after hatching. They can easily go the other way, towards city lights, and be crushed by cars or even get eaten by other predators.
Sea turtles are already living a tough life, and we're adding on to their problems.
So let’s dig deeper to find out how to solve these depressing problems.
HOW CAN WE HELP PROTECT ENDANGERED SEA TURTLES
Now that we know about the problems sea turtles face out there, it is up to us to figure out how we're going to help them, and move towards marine conservation. The cool thing is, you don't have to be actively involved to support sea turtles. You can do it from the comfort of your home.
Let's find out how….
1. Track A Sea Turtle
Image credit: Argos
There are so many things you can discover on the internet. One of the cool things is the live online turtle tracking system. 'Track Turtles' website shows you the route taken by the turtles and their exact location… LIVE. So if they suspect or realize that a certain turtle needs help, then they can swiftly attend to it.
How dope is that.
To support this cool and amazing initiative, you can adopt a tracked turtle from your home. The funds will be used to buy more tracking equipment, pay for satellite costs and even maintain their website so you can track your adopted turtle with ease. Its literally the same thing as buying a save the ocean bracelet.
Click here to see Pepper’s movement along the coast of Florida and Cuban shores. Pepper is one of the turtles being tracked.
2. Support A Purposeful Brand
Do you want to support endangered marine life without having to pick up trash along the beach/shorelines?
Or maybe you want to pick up trash, track a sea turtle aaannddd buy from purposeful brands!
Well, you came to the right place.
Here we have 2 brands that create products that help save the oceans, support marine life and can be used as a gift for beach lover.
❤️ 7 Wonders of The Ocean Earrings Set by WonderSpark
❤️ Sustainable Swimwear by OceanMimic
OceanMimic is an amazing brand that sells swimwear that is made from trash collected from the ocean. The coolest thing about them is that they ‘mimic’ the very creatures they're trying to protect.
Imagine swimming among leopard sharks in the ocean, while wearing a leopard shark-inspired bodysuit… 😱
Mind-blowing right?? But that's not all…
For every product you buy, they collect 10 kilograms of trash from the ocean. Its similar to the ocean clean up initiative done by 4Ocean.
Purchasing from OceanMimic means that Pepper (the turtle we mentioned earlier) will be swimming in clean ocean water, hence contributing towards marine conservation. The best part is that you can join them. Wearing your leopard shark-inspired bodysuit, swimming among the sharks.
They aren't even harmful to humans, so you have no reason not to do it.
Image credit: project Azraq
We hope you have learned some interesting, fun, and crazy facts about sea turtles, as well as the mission to save endangered sea turtles. Keep in mind that this is something that needs to be done every day. Endangered sea turtles are depending on us to make life a bit easier for them. Start today by doing more recycling, supporting purposeful brands, and more. Constant marine conservation activities work better if they're done everyday.
Together, we can be a part of the solution!