There are plenty of endangered marine animals, but sea turtles capture the imagination. They swim with Taoist calm, patiently drifting thousands of kilometers over the course of their lives, just as they have done for at least 100 million years. To think that sea turtles have unhurriedly wandered the oceans since the days of T. rex and brontosauri is beyond comprehension. When we spot sea turtles, we are basically seeing dinosaurs – the dinosaurs that survived apocalypse.
The rush of euphoria is impossible to describe, just the way Ticos often struggle to describe their first interaction with falling snow. There are plenty of Costa Ricans who see sea turtles all the time, but newbies may feel the same protective excitement they feel around a pregnant woman in her ninth month. Turtles may squat motionlessly in the sand, a hump of shell the size of a lawn mower. The head pokes out the front, the flippers flop at its side. The turtle doesn’t have to do anything to astonish her human visitor, only exist. But when the flippers lift slightly and the head bobs to one side, you might squeal with elation.
Read the full “Pura Vía” story here.