This Dancing Tortoise Is Here to Wiggle Her Way Into Your Heart — See the Adorable Video
A nice shower can improve even the worst moods. Evidence: This tortoise.
The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee decided to brighten everyone's day by posting a video on Facebook showing their radiated tortoise (named Turnip) "dancing" in a steady stream of water.
According to the aquarium, the radiated tortoise exhibits a "dancing" behavior during periods of heavy rain in its native southern Madagascar, where the climate is extremely dry. If you had to walk around in a dry heat, you'd also start dancing for a little rain.
Don't be concerned by the tortoise's name, it has nothing to do with "radiation." The radiated tortoise is a species known by its unique shell that is marked with a sort-of star pattern. Yellow lines "radiate" from small points on the shell, giving it a stunning look. Possibly even more stunning than Turnip's dance moves.
Turnip is a 12-year-old female tortoise and is particularly known for her urge to shake it like a Polaroid picture. "All of our radiated tortoises do this to some degree, but Turnip really 'turns it up,'" said Tennessee Aquarium Animal Care Specialist Maggie Sipe to IFLScience. "Our older female doesn't dance so much as she just raises up on to her tiptoes and stretches out. The two boys in the habitat with her chase me around when I have the hose out because I think they've learned what it means, so it's hard to get videos of them doing the dance because they come right up to me for showers."
Sipe added that the reason for the dancing behavior is unknown. "They do have feeling in their shells and will often seek out sensations, like raindrops or low hanging branches. Here at the aquarium we sometimes give them scrub brushes to rub against and they do this behavior, but not quite as enthusiastically as they do with the showers. This is what makes us believe that they do really enjoy it, because they actively seek it out."
Whatever the reason, it's just nice to see Turnip enjoying her day.
Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.