These Baby Turtles Discovering Water Are What You Need Right Now

Break out the emergency sea turtle reserve.

Padre Island National Seashore/Instagram

On Tuesday evening, as the world searched for a silver lining in the phrase “fire and fury,” the Department of the Interior announced that the final baby Kemp’s ridley sea turtle release of the year had gone off without a hitch at Padre Island National Seashore in Texas. The news was a bit late—the video was filmed on July 29th—but no matter. Have you ever seen footage of sea turtles making their first steps toward water? Have you seen them pause curiously for seemingly forever only to scurry forward for a few seconds and then pause again? Have you seen them wiggle their little sand-encrusted turtle…claws? Paws? Oars? Flippers? (Flippers.)

Have you lived?

But it turns out the Interior tweet is fake news—the actual actual final release of baby Kemp’s ridley sea turtles this summer was on July 30th. That moment was captured by the Padre Island Instagram account (which I recommend if you’re into that kind of thing). The first video has a sort of ominous quality, but I happen to like the buddy-comedy aspect of this one:


An earlier video, from a few days earlier, captures the full dramatic arc. A single baby turtle, determinedly making his way toward the surf, and then…wham! Don’t miss the dramatic ending:


I AM SO OUT OF HERE! 25th baby sea turtle release of summer 2017. #goturtlego #saltlife #padreisland #seaturtles #usinterior #nps #parks101

A post shared by Padre Island National Seashore (@padreislandnps) on

They’re so tiny! This one started going the wrong way in pursuit of the cameraman:

Watch this little buddy go up and over a huge piece of seaweed like it’s nothing:

I could watch these forever. Make sure to download them to your phone; you may not have WiFi in your survival bunker.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.