Sea turtle films itself and becomes a YouTube sensation
The turtle found a waterproof camera in the Caribbean and somehow activated the device.
Wed, Jun 16 2010 at 3:52 PM
ALONG FOR THE RIDE: U.S. Coast Guard agent Paul Schultz found the camera in Key West, Fla., and realized it had hitched a ride on a sea turtle. (Photo: National Geographic)
Move over James Cameron. A sea turtle found a waterproof camera in the Caribbean, somehow activated the device, filmed itself and is now a YouTube sensation.
Back in May U.S. Coast Guard agent Paul Schultz found a digital camera in a waterproof case on a beach in Key West, Florida, and posted images he found on its memory chip on the Internet in an attempt to find its owner.
In a video clip dated January 2010 "a turtle came across the camera, and it's really hard to tell how, but it turns the camera on and recorded itself swimming with the camera," Schultz told AFP.
"When I saw the video, I thought first that someone was getting attacked by a sea creature," Schultz said.
"I thought that a diver was getting attacked," he said. However, he later realized that the camera was just hitching a ride with a sea turtle.
"The last thing the camera owner did was shoot a video underwater, and then it goes right into the next video with the camera turning around in the water," Schultz said.
The video can be seen here.
Schultz eventually found the owner, a Dutch navy sailor who lost the camera when he was diving off the island of Aruba in November.
As the crow flies, Aruba, off the Caribbean coast of Venezuela, is some 1,100 miles from Key West, Florida.
But the camera likely took a roundabout journey on the Loop Current, which would have taken it from Aruba to the coast of central America, past Belize and the Yucatan peninsula, around the western coast of Cuba, into the Gulf Stream and on to the Florida Keys.
"I'm totally amazed about this," Schultz said.
Copyright 2010 AFP Global Edition