Something small but magnificent happens on the Sanibel and Captiva islands in Florida, after the snowbirds head north for the summer. It’s called an eruption and it’s officially the cutest thing you’ll ever see. Every summer, baby loggerhead turtles emerge from their nests underneath the sand and make their way toward the sea. The “boil” happens when the sand on top of their nest begins to toss and tumble as the young sea turtles work their way out; once they are out, the event becomes an “eruption.”
Pushing through the top layer of sand in disheveled unison, the sea turtles appear almost as a single organism — until you realize each dark spot you see is actually an individual turtle working its way to freedom. Upon surfacing, a moment of chaos ensues as the baby turtles determine which direction they need to head to reach the ocean. But the call of the waves and a seriously effective internal compass leads them home, and after a mad dash, they reach their destiny.
Fortunately, Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation’s coastal wildlife director was on hand to not only capture the event on video, but to make sure the turtles reached the ocean without threat. The organization works to preserve the habitat for loggerhead and other sea turtles. More than 500 nesting events now happen each year along the beaches of Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Captiva, a number that has increased year after year since the organization began its work.