Sea turtles do the cutest things. In this video posted to Reddit, a friendly sea turtle pays a surprise visit to a diver. At first, the diver pushes the curious animal away with a big shove to its belly. But the turtle persists. The diver quickly comes around and starts to pet its head. Enya’s “Boadicea” provides some nice background music during the entire encounter.
Researcher Lisa Belskis, a marine biologist for NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science centre, tells us that the the turtle in this video is an adult or maturing male hawksbill turtle.
The behaviour is not unheard of, although it is less typical.
“There have been many anecdotal reports of male hardshell sea turtles approaching divers attempting to mount them, particularly during breeding season,” Belskis wrote us in an email. “From my personal experience I have found that most often turtles go about their everyday business and ignore divers. If divers notice a nearby turtle it will likely stay still as if hoping its camouflage is working and if pursued by a diver they tend to flee.”
Sea turtles are generally known as solitary animals — which also makes them difficult to study. As a result, a lot is still unknown about sea turtle behaviour.