Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Total Mystery to Us

Saturday Mr. Pop was mowing the yard. In one of our mulched flowerbeds in the backyard he noticed a box turtle with it’s head down as though it might be sniffing something or eating something in the mulch. He was careful not to disturb the little creature.

Sunday he was again in the backyard and noticed the turtle was just as it had been the day before. He approached the turtle to see flies all over its shell. But its head was still buried in the mulch. It was very apparent that the turtle was dead. This is where the eeriness begins. The turtle’s head appeared to be moving beneath the surface of the mulch and dirt. At this point he called me outside to see this strange occurrence.

As we watched closely the earth and mulch around the turtle’s buried head began to move as something pushed upward from below the surface. I gently pulled the dead turtle backward so that it’s head was out of the dirt. The dirt continued to move as something of some size beneath the surface pushed upward. But then it stopped and there was no more activity. I have no way to describe to you how eerie and gross this whole episode was to experience.

So the mystery is, what caused the turtle’s death? Did it put its head into the dirt or did something emerge and pull it downward. Most of all, what the hell was that thing below the surface?


Blogger mommanator said...

EEEK too creepy for me! I'd be running and hubby would have to deal with it. AND he'd prob dig up the whole yard to find the earth mover!Some critters and me have a healthy respect of one another, one would be a snake which it prob was?
That wasn't the turtle you have been feeding for awhile was it!?

May 27, 2008 2:49 AM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

Oh my... wow. That is too weird, very strange.

I have no theories at all, just thoughts of what an odd thing you have all experienced.

May 27, 2008 3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the poor box turtle. I guess that's the cycle of life. I immediately thought snake when you talked about the soil moving.

On a slightly different note, inspired by your earlier turtle post, I was compelled to stop and move a turtle off the road the other day. I was afraid if it didn't make it across the road fast enough it would be smashed.

May 27, 2008 4:06 AM  
Blogger ZILLA said...

I think I know this one. My roommate called them carion beetles, unless we were in the dining hall, in which case she called them burying beetles.

So sad -- turtles are my fave :-(

May 27, 2008 4:35 AM  
Blogger Jazz said...

Reminds me of a Stephen King novel. Something evil will crawl out of there.

May 27, 2008 5:26 AM  
Blogger betmo said...

i was going to say ants- but you would probably have seen those. hey- thanks for totally creeping me out :)

May 27, 2008 6:10 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

ick, i'd say snake except that they don't usually let go easily.

maybe it was a small snake.

May 27, 2008 6:15 AM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

That is such an interesting turtle mystery. I think I would have dug around a bit, with a large shovel to keep me at a safe distance, to see what was moving around under there.

May 27, 2008 7:27 AM  
Blogger Forty Paws said...

That is very interesting...

Luf, Us

May 27, 2008 9:11 AM  
Blogger Dean Wormer said...

I told you - it was The Hare.

He was pissed about losing the race and exacted his revenge.

May 27, 2008 10:33 AM  
Blogger Spirula said...

Most of all, what the hell was that thing below the surface?

Be scarab. Be very, very Scarab.

Either that or you've got graboids. In that case...run! Wait, make that climb!!

(Anyway, it is not a snake as snakes don't eat carrion, let alone ingest food from below ground.)

As to the poor turtle's death, I know infections are a leading cause of death in captive reptiles, so I would not be surprised to find that a significant number of wild ones succumb to these as well.

May 27, 2008 11:07 AM  
Blogger Proud2bHumble said...

If the house starts shakin', get the hell outta there!!


May 27, 2008 11:13 AM  
Blogger dguzman said...

Dick Cheney?

I found a dead milk snake on my sidewalk this morning, still curled up like he was sunning himself. Eek.

May 27, 2008 11:28 AM  
Blogger dguzman said...

Dick Cheney?

I found a dead milk snake on my sidewalk this morning, still curled up like he was sunning himself. Eek.

May 27, 2008 11:28 AM  
Blogger TaraDharma said...

maybe it committed turtle suicide my planting its head in the dirt, and then some mole or gopher got curious due to the rotting smell, and starting burrowing up towards it.

Ick. Double Ick.

May 27, 2008 2:51 PM  
Blogger XUP said...

I agree with Jazz - it's like some sort of ancient turtle burial ground and they're going to take revenge on you and your whole family for desicrating their holy spot.

May 27, 2008 2:55 PM  
Blogger Sparky Duck said...


and now I am sufficiently grossed out for bed

May 27, 2008 8:22 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

A minion of Cthulhu, obviously.

dguzman, The Undisclosed Location® is under POP's property?

May 28, 2008 5:28 AM  
Blogger two crows said...

my 2c -- fwiw -- probably about 1c: :)
[if you're easily grossed out you might want to stop reading now]--
my vote is for an whole big bunch of maggots.

now, don't freak. they've got their job to do-- just like the rest of us --and it's an important one: they're a major part of the planet's janitorial service and without em the world would be a much nastier place.

acourse, that's easy for ME to say. _I_ didn't see the earth moving in front of me. blech. :6

May 28, 2008 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PoP, sounds like the start of a horror novel to me.

May 29, 2008 6:45 AM  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

You live in florida, yah?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Underground Crocogators!!!

May 29, 2008 8:40 AM  

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