Golden turtle hailed incarnation of deity Vishnu found in Nepal

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Image courtesy of researchgate.net

A stunningly unique golden turtle is being hailed as the reincarnation of the Hindu Godhead Vishnu after the specimen was found in Nepal, Daily Mail reported.

This is not the first time a turtle (or another animal) has been spotted with unusual features and appearance for its species. This specific turtle owes its golden dazzle from an ultra-rare genetic mutation which alters its pigments.

The specie, as Identified by the Mithila Wildlife Trust, is an Indian flap shell turtle which are usually green in color. The turtle was rescued by Chandradeep Sada in 2018 and was researched thoroughly, after which the rarity of the specimen was confirmed. It was released back into the wild after observing and taking lots of pictures of it.

This specimen is believed to be the world’s only 5th such turtle discovered and arguably Nepal’s first. A reptile expert who documented the find said this golden reptile has a deep spiritual significance.

As per the Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu (who also incarnated as Lord Krishna) is thought to have descended on Earth ten times in ten avatars.

The first avatar is a fish, or ‘Matsya,’ the second tortoise or Kurmya, third Boar or ‘Varaha,’ fourth man-lion or ‘Narsimha, the fifth avatar is a dwarf or ‘Vamana,’ sixth is Parshurama or an ‘angry man,’ seventh ‘Lord Ram’ or good man, eight ‘Lord Krishna,’ ninth ‘Balarama’ or Krishna’s elder brother, and the tenth is ‘Kalki’ that is the name of a ‘mighty warrior’ and is yet to incarnate, as the mythology goes.

Golden turtle hailed incarnation of deity Vishnu found in Nepal / Image courtesy of researchgate.net

‘It is believed that Lord Vishnu took the form of a turtle to save the universe from destruction in his incarnation,’ Kamal Devkota, who is a reptile expert told Daily Mail.

He said, not just golden animals, turtles have a significance in Nepal. Lord Vishnu’s ‘Kurma’ avatar which is a turtle is revered in a number of temples across India. Furthermore, turtles are also an essential part of the famous Chinese belief Feng Shui.

Apart from the spiritual connections, this turtle is also a marvel of nature. This golden turtle owes its remarkable color to chromatic leucism — a condition characterized by a loss of color pigmentation.

Usually, this condition leads to white, pale, or patchy skin but in some cases, it leads to xanthophores or the condition where cells abundant with yellow pigments becoming dominant.

In July, residents at a village in Orissa found a completely yellow turtle.

Speaking about this golden turtle, Mr. Devkota explained, color aberrations are quite rare since it puts the victim at a disadvantage in its environment.

Colour helps animals escape predators, and standing apart is the recipe to an ill-fate in the animal kingdom. In the case of this turtle, it might get much easily spotted by a predator.

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