Great White Turtle

Reports of gigantic white turtles off the Newfoundland-Labrador and Scotian shelf are occasionally reported every couple decades. The “great white turtle” is described as being an enormous 30 to 40 foot wide sea turtle, with long whale-like flippers and sometimes “tusks”, possibly a serrated beak. Their skin is a whitish-grey colour and their shells are ovular.


One of the few sightings of them was by the crew of the Annie A. Hall on March 30th 1883, 150 km east of Newfoundland. The crew initially thought it was a large man-made object, until they realized it was actually the shell of an enormous turtle. They guessed it was 40 ft long, 30 ft wide and had 20 ft long flippers. After getting alarmingly close to the ship, it dove under. In 1956, the crew of the Rhapsody allegedly saw a 40 ft long sea turtle 400 km east of Nova Scotia. After the Rhapsody’s encounter with this creature, the Canadian Coastguard issued warnings to other boats in the area in case of another encounter. They noticed the animal had a long neck that could stick eight ft out of the water. In the 1970’s, a man named Bob Crewe claimed to have seen a 30 ft turtle lying on a remote beach near Bonavista, Newfoundland.


The largest known living turtle species is the leatherback turtle, which can reach 10 ft long, not anywhere near 40 ft. Even the largest chelonian to ever live, the archelon, could only reach half the size the great white turtle allegedly reaches. The main problem with the great white turtle’s authenticity is that its unknown where it would beach to lay its eggs without being detected. It may lay its eggs in the arctic due to its white skin, which would also explain the lack of sightings of beached great white turtles.

Illustration by Tim Morris (Pristichampsus on DeviantArt)

Illustration by Tim Morris (Pristichampsus on DeviantArt)