Turtles always look sad

Sad Turtle - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Sad Turtle – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I can say that I have been a truly lucky human being to have had the opportunity to swim with sea turtles on quite a few occasions. This turtle was photographed while snorkeling at a beach on Fitzroy Island, a beautiful tropical paradise near Cairns (in Queensland, Australia). A lazy afternoon, just myself, my husband and several turtles… and we watched as they went about their daily munching on sea grasses.  To swim with these beautiful reptiles makes you appreciate how graceful they are at moving under the water, and they are quite content to have you swimming nearby. You’d think that for an animal which has outlived the dinosaurs, they should be happy, but instead they always look sad. Actually many of them are now listed on the endangered species list, which also makes me incredibly sad. I especially get upset when people think that rather than just observing wildlife, they interfere with it. I have seen this happen to turtles in Hawaii, where divers or snorkelers will grab onto them. This is NOT ok, and more respect should be given to these ancient and incredible creatures.


19 thoughts on “Turtles always look sad

  1. Brilliant foto! The tints of the turtle and of the water are corresponding. E.g. the smalt calls for ochre, midnight blue for light cream hues and even white spots shake hands with some quasi-black shadows on the turtle´s cheek. Complementary colours in such a variety accomplish moods like this.

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  2. I can’t imagine swimming with such beautiful creatures and you have done that! amazing…..I didn’t realize that they were so docile. I agree… not to interfere and touch them is very important. I have seen videos of people doing that and didn’t give it much thought, you are correct. Beautiful photo by the way

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    1. Thank you Margaret, it was so magical. I don’t think people interfere with wildlife out of anywhere malicious, just like yourself, I think people just don’t realize the effect they are having on animals. Reptiles especially have very slow metabolisms, so the toxins that build up when they are stressed take a long time to get cleared from the body… so they are more sensitive to stressors.

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  3. I love this one, turtles are so darling. You are right, they really do look sad. I guess I never thought about that until now. I’ve moved through life supposing they just live in their own happy little worlds, yet I know that is not the case. This is a beautiful photograph, and I love it.

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    1. Hi Sue, thanks for stopping by, and for leaving such a lovely compliment. It’s a shame that their facial expression is fixed on sad… I would love to know when they are happy. They really are “darling” creatures… great description.

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  4. I see their expression as deeply contemplative, rather than sad. And, as they have been around for so long (the seven species that exist today have been around, virtually unchanged, for some 110 million years), they have a lot to contemplate. I also had the privilege of snorkeling in the presence of one recently in the Florida Keys. I am still awed by the experience. What a lovely portrait you’ve made here!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Gary, I’m glad I brought back a great memory for you! The Florida Keys is a lovely place to snorkel, so you made a wonderful choice to visit there. I agree… turtles certainly do have a lot to contemplate, I know I would if I lived such a long and solitary life.


  5. Yes, I’ve swum a couple of times with sea turtles in Hawaii. Such a spiritual experience. I too think contemplative describes how the look to me. Stunning photo. Glad you shared it and awakened those wonderful memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Robert, glad I brought back the memory of your wonderful experience! I have to agree, they do indeed look contemplative, and with so many thoughts over such a long life, it’s a shame they can’t share those with us.


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