LifestyleTurtle sets deep-sea record with 4,408-foot dive in Solomon Islands

Turtle sets deep-sea record with 4,408-foot dive in Solomon Islands

Leatherback turtle (illustrative photo)
Leatherback turtle (illustrative photo)
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Scott McKay

10:21 AM EDT, June 19, 2024

A leatherback turtle from the Solomon Islands region has achieved a remarkable feat by diving to a depth of 4,408 feet.

Scientists, led by expert Peter Waldi, recorded this extraordinary dive while conducting research to protect the species.

The record-breaking turtle

The dive in the Solomon Islands region is the deepest dive by a turtle in history. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the previous record was 4,199 feet, set in 2006 by another leatherback turtle. The new depth of 4,408 feet surpasses the previous record by 209 feet. Although the numbers are impressive, the result must be verified and entered into the book to claim a Guinness record officially.

To understand the magnitude of the turtle's dive, consider that submarines typically operate at depths between 984 and 1,312 feet. National Geographic notes that even the deepest-diving vessel has descended to just over 2,953 feet, which is still shallower than the turtle's achievement.

A Guinness Book of World Records spokesperson told Live Science that the deepest turtle dive requires expert consultation for accurate verification. "In cases of scientific and natural records based on data, such as this instance, we usually wait until the results are verified and published in a peer-reviewed journal before considering them," the spokesperson said.

Exceptional turtles

Leatherback turtles spend almost their entire lives in the water, with females only coming ashore briefly to lay eggs. Scientists have discovered that these turtles can stay underwater for up to 90 minutes. A specialized shell, which contracts and expands with pressure changes, aids them in this remarkable capability.

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