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Shell Game

And they’re off! But the rider in this “turtle derby” was soon unseated by the fast-flipper dive of his mount. Visitors to Australia’s Mast Head Islet in the 1930s entertained themselves by slipping reins on and climbing on green turtles’ shells while they slept. Startled from the disturbance, the turtles headed off into the water for a wild, but all too brief, ride.

Photograph by Otho Webb
From National Geographic Magazine, October 2000

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