Loggerhead sea turtles hatch in endless procession

Baby loggerhead sea turtles emerging from their nest

Baby loggerhead sea turtles emerging from their nest; photo courtesy of Blake Lipthratt

Like a volcanic eruption, a nest in the sand at a Sea Island beach in Georgia came alive with dozens of baby loggerhead sea turtles emerging in an act of nature that is quite remarkable when caught on video and sped up.

Blake Lipthratt was fortunate to capture the magical moment when 125 baby loggerhead sea turtles decided to hatch and make their way to the ocean. It seemed like an endless parade as the little sea creatures just kept on coming.

Lipthratt of neighboring Saint Simons Island wrote a poem and the music to the video you can see in its entirety here. But we cut to the chase when the little hatchlings began doing their thing:

The eggs incubate while buried in the sand just above the high-tide water level. After 80 days or so, the hatchlings dig their way through the sand to the surface and then make their way to the ocean.

This usually occurs at night when predation is at its lowest. This time it happened just before sunset and Lipthratt was ready.

In an email to GrindTV Outdoor, he described how he managed to get the video:

“My fiancé, a local naturalist, was scouting the beach that morning for sea turtle activity and noticed that this particular nest was starting to cave in, indicating the nest is soon to hatch. I immediately left my house and staked out for six hours on the beach until just before sunset when the nest started to ‘boil.’ We estimated that the nest produced around 125 hatchlings that evening, which is considered a full and healthy nest.

“It's an incredible and fleeting site that is usually over in less than 10 minutes. The six hours of anticipation made it that much more exciting.”

A baby loggerhead sea turtle heads for the ocean; photo by Becky Skiba, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast/Flickr

A baby loggerhead sea turtle heads for the ocean; photo by Becky Skiba, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast/Flickr

Oh, and in case you missed it in the video, here’s Lipthratt's poem:

A warm summer night, emerging from the sea,

an ancient creature plants her seed.

A tired beast covered in sand,

crawls back to where everything began.

Her harvest threatened by a rising tide,

keeps fertile land with what's left behind.

Approaching storms test her fight,

as fallen giants watch through the night.

Push forth and survive our beast has sworn,

against all odds, life is born.

A tiny beast covered in sand,

Crawls back to where everything began.

A moment in nature caught on video and in poetry. Nice.

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