Shake that Shell!

Fun Fact: According to sender-inner Cassandra D., turtle shells are more sensitive than you might expect. Now throw in a toothbrush and a thumping techno beat (warning: loud), and you’ve got today’s monthly WTF* of the Week!

* That’s “wiggling turtle footsies,” we’ll have you know.



  1. Jay in Oregon says:


    That is the cutest thing I’ve seen in a while. Is that turtle actually rocking that much, or is it sped up to match the music?

  2. OMG! Sooo cute!! X3

  3. hahahhaha! This is too good!

  4. It looks like the shell is touch sensitive. I never knew that! Guess humans aren’t the only ones who love a back scratch! 🙂

  5. hahahaha sooo cute!! shaken that booty!!

  6. shake it, shake it, shake it like a polaroid picture.. or youtube video..whatever.. too kyoot

  7. Flutterbye says:

    Bwaa hahaha !! Shake yer booty … shake, shake, shake. Shake that booty!

    Tick tocks tick tocks – lol. That is an absolute RIOT!

  8. O NO He/She/ It DI-unt!!!!! says:

    me so sad me no get the picture on this one me only get the words 😦

    me have to try tomowwow, on anothah compootah 😦

    “tomowwow, tomowwow, Ah WUV ya, tomowwow…”


  9. I didn’t know shells could feel anything at all.

    That turtle is sure rockin’ the beat!

  10. Melissa says:

    That is the funniest thing I have seen in a long time!

    And shakey shakey!

  11. cellarmouse says:

    i will never again touch a box turtle without the utmost care …

  12. 260Oakley says:

    Oral B. Turtle enjoys his brush with greatness. Next on his dance card: the Electric Toothbrush Slide.

  13. We’ll have to invest in a toothbrush for our red-eared slider Tank Girl and see if she can get jiggy wit’ it…

  14. NICE MOVES!!!!!!!!!!! this made me laugh 😀

  15. tinarenee says:

    LOL! That is a red eared slider turtle (not tortoise!) 🙂 They are water turtles and their shells are very sensitive. I never thought to use a toothbrush – I’m sure mine would love it. I’ve just used my fingernails…. And the guy in this video is HUGE!

  16. Turtles do have nerves connected to their shells. In the days when Turtles were still considered a delicacy (I still believe they are, but people are rather bitchy about certain kinds of animal food these days, so it’s rarer, I’d assume), they advertised “humane” torpedoes to catch and kill sea turtles that “only punctured the shell, so as not to cause pain or harm to the animal”. Quickly proven false.

    is it at all weird that now I both want to hug and kiss a little turtle…and have a bowl of turtle soup? (not from the same turtle, mind you.)

  17. That’s what she said.

  18. Lebturtle says:

    Dude-That is a turtle.

    A cute turtle, but a turtle, not a tortoise.

  19. Flavia A. says:

    Roflmao! Too funny!

  20. Whooahhh, duuude. That is one happy turtle.

  21. I cannae see it Captain, I only see “An error occurred, please try later”.

  22. wannadance says:

    okay. this wins the prize as the all around WEIRDEST thing i have ever seen. ever.

    i did dance to some techno on a bar in chicago at a gay restaurant with elderly drag queens waiters/ettes. i used to be a fabulous dancer back when i could stand up. always ended up doing a solo on a bar wherever i went. in chicago , went out at 0200 and got tattoos downtown. bad girls, bad girls. reminded me of the emergency room so i was totally comfortable. ah spoke up really loud=like and said ‘can yall hep me find a patteran for some puckery lee-upps?’ i was swamped by drunks and pregnant teenagers and the homeless. certainly the best crowd to help find lee-yupps.

    mah tail waddn’t as cute as that there turtles, tho…love it.

  23. O NO He/She/ It DI-unt!!!!! says:

    Gaz aka Scottie:

    Damn it Jim, I”m a DOCTOR not a CO veterinarian!!!

    ….I’m feelin’ all angsty myself, over lacking this’yere item (as per see my
    comment # 8 above)………..

    “Feelins, whoah whoah whoah, Feelins, whoah whoah whoah….”


  24. lol to the benny benassi song.

    I had no clue their shells were that sensitive… guess it makes sense that it is… it is a part of them.

  25. O NO He/She/ It DI-unt!!!!! says:

    @ wannadance: PIK-chas, we want PIK-chas of ya, “back in da day”!!!

    and — related — “waiter/ettes” = *SNERK* and also *giggle*

    “Woot” and also

  26. kibblenibble says:

    When I saw “Satisfaction,” I thought of the Stones. But the turtle did quite nicely with this techno-toothbrush combo. It looked like he was lifting his little tocks up for better brush contact. Cute.

  27. kokobutterbuns says:

    Funny thing…I do the exact same thing when my back get scratched!

  28. Kinda like watching an itchy bear scratch his butt against a tree. Only smaller. Fab!

  29. Queen of Dork says:

    Shake. Your. Groove. Thang.

  30. Easily the most completely ridiculous thing I’ve seen in a while. That is one happy turtle! WTF indeed.

  31. Wow. I never thought I’d see CO post a video of an animal so obviously in distress.
    Nice going jerks!

  32. My turtle does the same thing!! She’s a Midland painted turtle, 12 years old, still doing the turtle twist!!

    Josie, take a pill, he’s fine. Obviously he isn’t scared of the toothbrush. He would be attempting to get away or pulling into his shell. He just feels it on his shell and is like “Hey! What’s touching me!? Get off ma back, varmint!”

  33. The turtle isn’t stressed. It is not pulling into its shell or attempting to get away. This is a normal behavior for a turtle when it feels something on its shell. It is not damaging or stressful to the animal.

  34. Non-Anthropomorphist says:

    If the turtle were really “dancing” to the music, there would be no need for the toothbrush. My impression was that the turtle was responding to being harassed. There’s a tendency for people to interpret animal behavior (or even anatomy) in the most “human” possible way, but that’s often wrong — for example, we talk about “smiling” puppies and cats, but they don’t smile; we’re just misinterpreting the shapes of their mouths and their expressions/body language in our terms.

    I say leave turtles alone unless you understand them. Not cute.

  35. When I’d clean my turtle’s aquarium, I’d let her swim to her hearts content around the bathtub, followed by a tuna snack. She knew after the tuna came the toothbrush, and she’d stop swimming, get up on her log and patiently wait for her scrub 🙂

  36. Rapwnzel says:

    OMG I was like WTF and then I was like LOL

  37. I don’t know why, I just thought of this:

  38. Streefactor says:

    @ Non-Anthropomorphist. The music was added later as a joke. And, as Laura pointed out, the turtle is not trying to run away nor is it snapping at the toothbrush… and I’ve seen some irritated turtles in the wild — I watched a snapping turtle bite a thick stick in two and chase my cousin. If you think an animal can’t let you know in NO uncertain terms when it’s ticked off then you don’t know that many animals.

    Misinterpreting a “smile” is a lot different than misinterpreting being irritated/annoyed/ticked off.

  39. And now is the time when we dance!

  40. BStrange says:

    Dear Non-Anth and etc. Talk about misinterpreting! Nuffer, nuff thyself:

    Of course he’s not dancing. he’s scratching his back. If you’d bothered to learn about this particular variety of turtle, you’d know many red-eared sliders enjoy having their backs scratched (as do some other types of turtle). As noted above, they have nerve endings in their shells. (The bear back-scratching on a tree comment up there somewhere is a pretty fair comparison.) But it appears you’d rather be clueless trolls. Cheers!

    Of course, when do nuffers ever bother to learn anything? 🙄

  41. Josee, next time use the sarcastic font.

    I wonder what this guy would do with a shoe buffer? Say with a good coat of Turtle Wax.?

  42. I seriously get annoyed when I read comments that are so “stick-in-the-butt” annoying. Distressed? No. Do some research on turtle behavior then come back with your bull argument. Harassed? We’re all harassed when we get lightly tickled but some of us enjoy it. Of course the turtle wasn’t dancing to the music. It was a joke. Geez.

    Le sigh. Keep groovin’ it, little turtle! Shake that thang!

  43. ROFL at the Dr. and Mrs. Hawking music from Family Guy!!!

    Go turtle, go turtle, go turtle! Get DOWN with your funkeh self!!

  44. Edit: Damn, I may have jumped the fence too quickly. Sorry if I misinterpreted any sarcastic comments. :/ Yikes! LOL

  45. BStrange says:

    I love it when people yell “anthropomorphism” in the same breath as an assumption that any strange behavior on an animal’s part indicates distress. Next on Cute Overload: Petting cats is deemed cruel and abusive. You know they must hate it, because they make that funny rattling noise and flex their toes!


  46. BStrange says:

    Ambism: No, I’m pretty sure you had it right the first time. Welcome to the favorite hobby of the stupid on the internet: Trolling comment threads. 😉

  47. This made me lol. Too funny.

  48. Kaci E Champion says:

    this is officially the video that has made me laugh more than any other video i’ve seen on the internet. thank you.

  49. he makes me want tocktober all over again!! this is priceless!

  50. Never in my life…Pure awesomeness!

    I’d also like to see this put to all kinds of music, beginning with some disco.

  51. Mel Drake says:

    Well now this song will be stuck in my head all night
    With a party turtle

  52. Tigress says:

    Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the same video on Cute Overload and Attack of the Show at the same time. (AotS is a computer gaming/pop culture/general weirdness show.)

  53. Hon Glad says:

    Sha-boom sha-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da
    Sha-boom sha-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da
    Life could be a dream sweetheart.

  54. Okay… so the reason why he’s dancing ‘sooo cute’ is because he thinks he’s under attack. I have two aquatic turtles en when one bumps up to the other the do the exact same thing. They try to ‘shake’ the other off… 😦
    So… I don’t think he’s enjoying it that much…

  55. Add: I have my turtles for 19 years now…

  56. ^^ Aww. Bummer.

    Still thinking he’s being a good sport and playing along. Pets learn to accommodate their humans.

  57. Lol how cute is that! -runs off to buy a turtle to try that-

  58. ^^Ayaa WTF?

    It must be late and my eyes are tired cuz I could swear you called people bitchy for opposing eating turtles. No, you can’t be “going there.” That’s madness. Turtles are here to love, protect and value – not consume. These days in particular watching the news and the rescue of all those vulnerable creatures trying to swim let alone survive in oil only deepens those feelings for everyone. One hopes. Very much.

  59. Wermops says:

    Is it a water or a land turtle? It would really good to know. Cause I think water turtles have mor sensitive shells as land turtles. But! I will test it and then I can send a video too 😀

  60. isabelle says:

    Shake your money maker babe! 😀

  61. O NO He/She/It DI-unt says:

    …..and on the 10th viewing, I realized item #4 from NTM’s clever little bits…

    “….”today’s” “monthly” WT ** of the “week”…..”

    very nice, Sir.
    Very nice.

  62. Hee! I loooooooooooooove turtles! Yay, happy turtle dance. And I agree that this turtie-pie doesn’t seem to be in distress. If it were it would be tucked into its shell and hissing.

  63. OMG! snort! i had no idea this was even possible!

  64. I’ll also throw in my two cents. I have a red eared slider myself, and he’s more than capable of telling me when he’s irritated. My particular turtle doesn’t like getting his shell brushed with a toothbrush and he lets me know by flailing his feets and turning his neck around to bite at the brush. Now my roommate’s sliders LOVED getting their shells brushed! They didn’t do this cute dance but they’d stretch out and just look around while getting scrubbed. This guy is in no distress. If turtles think they’re being attacked, they tuck inside their shell. I’m pretty sure turtles don’t think shaking their butt will fight off an enemy! 😛

  65. cutest. turt. evah.

  66. Bahahahaha. I thought this was just a loop until I looked closer — that toothbrush is moving around, the turtle really is going nuts for it.

    If that turtle were feeling harassed, it’d “turtle up”, or maybe bite.

  67. Turtle ‘tocks!

  68. Kimberly says:

    My turtle, Lady Burt, used to do that when I’d pet her shell. I call it turtle hydraulics. I was really surprised that they could feel their shells.

  69. My turtle also loves back scratches (I’ll try a toothbrush nex time).

  70. You put the donk in redonk, baby.

  71. i didn’t know some turtles loved a scratch! that is just too adorable and gave me a needed morning chuckle 😀

  72. Oh my, I feel as if we’ve invaded a private moment.

  73. MandyMo says:

    Theresa: that’s good stuff! They are strangely similar, I agree.

  74. fatgrammafinn says:

    TIME WARP!!! “today’s monthly wtf of the week”


  75. Colonel Jenna says:

    Oh, man, I wish I’d known that red-ears like scritches, back when we had turtles. That was da bomb!

  76. aquasaline says:

    what. the. hell. was. that?

  77. Another point of contention against the nuffers: aquatic turtles shed their scutes (the plates on their shells, which are made of keratin just like our fingernails). They sometimes will rub up against rocks, tree roots, or whatever they can find in the wild to help loosen and remove scutes.

    And turtles are more than capable of moving off if something annoys them. So sez the keeper, feeder, and minion of six tortoises, 25 box turtles, and two aquatic turtles.

  78. My red-eared slider also LOVES her back scratched!!! I just use my hands and scratch all over. It must be especially itching when she’s shedding. And if she didn’t like it, she’d scurry away or tuck into her shell and hiss. So my doesnt and this one doesn’t either so they DO like it.

  79. AND he/she (looks like a she) looks really healthy!! 🙂

  80. happie17 says:

    I can’t wait to try this on my turtle! She does seem to like me scratching her shell with my fingernails, so she might enjoy a toothbrush too! And turtles definitely hide, hiss, or bite when distressed, so I do believe this turtle is enjoying itself!!!

  81. MoonCatty says:

    This does look like a strong healthy turtle! Well nourished with a glossy, smooth shell… probably helped by these gentle toothbrush rubbings!

    Although a mistaken conclusion may result when anthropomorphizing animal behavior, it is also true that animals share so many of the emotions and motivations we do. Which is why humans and animals have such a long standing social relationship.

    The turtle is moving his/her body into the strokes of the toothbrush, plus raising up on tip toes to maximize the rubbing effect. These are very good signs that this turtle is enjoying this toothbrush massage very much… I’ve never seen a turtle shake its little booty with so much enthusiasm!

  82. katkatkat says:

    Male red-ear sliders have very long claws, which they use to entice the ladies. They waggle these long claws in front of the female’s face and they rake them across the back of their shells. A receptive female will enjoy this very much. If the male doesn’t measure up–not so much. The males are often quite a bit smaller than the females.

  83. If the turtle were annoyed, he could easily snap at the human’s hand. It’s right in front of his face, but he lets the brushing continue so he must be enjoying it.

  84. Ive seen turtles do this before. Not the whole butt shaking thing tho, that was new. But ive seen land turtles (or tortoises, whatever you call them in english. A lot of other languages have a singe word for green, bald and shelled animals.) do something similar if you scratch their back. Just scratch like you scratch a dog behind the ears (but on the shell) and you see that it is appreciated.

  85. Ker-thud. Dancing turtle tocks is just too much.

  86. Wait’ll you see how he takes to the flossing!

  87. I love that tortoise!! that tortoise rocks!! When my tortoise wakes up, i`ll try to softly rub her shell!! I hope she likes it!!

  88. Lucy Loup-Garou says:

    I love this turtle! And clearly, he loves his toothbrush. He might not love Benny Benassi, but he wasn’t listening to it while he got his “scritchies”.
    (Where do people get these nuffs?)

    Scrit-chies…..give me my scrit-chies…and watch my butt swing….while I get scritchies

  89. I had to comment on this. My dog is a nutbar when it comes to turtles. He’s also recovering from emergency surgery for an aggressive cancer (which we’ve learned is terminal). He’s doing well now, but it’s only a matter of weeks until he’s not. He’s always been able to watch videos on my laptop, so I showed him this one. He rose in utter awe and fascination and moved closer and closer until he was able to sniff the image on the screen. This was a real feat and quite the sight gag considering his Cone of Shame. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for posting this and providing me with a truly hysterical moment between me and my puppy.

  90. Scout C says:

    This made me laugh out loud!

  91. I say this with no conviction in myself at all but I’m annoyed so I’ll say it: I really need to stop reading the comments. There’s so much nuffing on the stupidest things that it ruins the cuteness of the posts for me.

  92. And I recognize I did in fact just nuff. Sigh.

  93. Just let the nuffers have their say and move on. No need to reply, really. We all have different opinions.

  94. BStrange says:

    @CJ: As with so many things in life, nuffers are more easily dealt with if you picture them in clown getup… Or as the Three Stooges running around crashing into things… Or possibly in mime, trapped in a box that isn’t there. 😀

    And I have found the ultimate anti-nuff on this one. The caption on this video says, “Turtle Cleaning Station. Some turtles in the area of Lady Elliot Island were very curious about divers and some would not leave you alone unless you actually scratched their shells with your hand. It seems that some turtles treat divers as a cleaning station.”

    Notice that at no time does the diver restrain the turtle. It’d be a receding dot in the frame if it wanted to be:

  95. BStrange says:

    Or how about a sea turtle doing the Butt Wiggle, underwater style? 0:30 kills me… 😀

  96. BStrange says:

    Seems like the turtles are treating divers the way some sharks treat concentrations of certain types of fish – swimming to them and hanging out letting the fish pick them clean of parasites, dead skin, and food in their teeth, before going on their sharkly way.

    I guess a toothbrush works too!

  97. I think if that turtle was annoyed he (I’m assuming b/c of the coloring) would be on his way. Turtles can move fast, despite the lore about them. My sister’s turtle is a pretty fast girl. And if she doesn’t like playing with you, she leaves the room.

    Also, I don’t think a toothbrush is the scratchiest, most harmful thing he encounters with his shell. If so, he wouldn’t make it for long in the wild. It’s not like the guy’s scrubbing him within an inch of his life either. Looks like the turtle’s leaning into it.

    Do we need to review the footage?

    And what is a nuffer? Does this post make me a nuffer?

  98. BStrange says:

    Nuffer is short for “not-cute-enough-ingham”. Check the glossary (and don’t miss the “doggerel” link!)

  99. Lucy Loup-Garou says:

    @RedDog, that is just precious! I’m sorry your baby is sick, I know about enjoying time with your animal when you know there’s not a lot of it. They make you laugh & cry simultaneously!

  100. Lucy Loup-Garou says:

    BStrange, how cute! Underwater scritchies! That turtle’s sayin’ “Hey, where you goin’? More! C’mon, MORE!”

  101. That sounded like a dictionaraoke song, but the site no longer exists. Or does it? Has it moved? I miss it!

  102. Mod-in-Training says:


    I’ve been a little behind, but please allow me to get the nuffbroom and do the tidying up.

    nuffs will roll.


  103. Katiedid says:

    WOW! That turtle is really into it! He looks like he is having a good time! The music really fits too… I think that made the video 100x funnier… Now all he needs are some glow sticks and it would be so on… like donkey kong..

  104. Lindsay says:

    This video makes me really happy 🙂

  105. Christina says:

    OMG – Did I see turtle tocks!!!!

  106. Mod-in-Training says:

    [@RedDog What a bittersweet picture. Doggy who watches videos and loves tortles? What a very special friend you’ve had. Thank YOU for such a sweet story.


  107. eagleone666 says:


  108. This is amazing.

  109. crazy weinerdog lady says:

    @BStrange – That was sooo cute! I think sea turtles are just about the cutest things EVER! 🙂

  110. Best part in the first “itchy shell” vid? When the turtle maneuvers around to eyeball the diver when the diver stops scratching.

    “Are your hands broken or something? Who told you to stop?”

  111. Alleykitten says:

    Ha ha! My RES (Becky) does the same thing XD Oddly enough, Sally and Buffy just give me a weird look and dive back into the water away from me when I try to scratch their shells.

  112. BStrange says:

    MLO: I know, some people think dogs and cats have a lock on the “Give Me More Scritchings!” stare, but scalies can do it too.

    Oh, and here’s an “all-natural” version of the turtle back-scratch if anyone’s curious: A turtle cleaning station with two types of fish. (Also, re: some of the stills, it’s easy to forget sea turtles CAN climb out of the water, until they actually do. I saw a video years ago of one that almost tipped a small boat, trying to climb aboard to escape an attacking shark.)

  113. BStrange says:

    And it’s not just turtles. Remember the cleaner shrimp in Finding Nemo? This one made me giggle, the flame angelfish is all, “A little to the left, mmkay? Ahhh, that’s it.”

  114. BStrange says:

    I keep coming back to watch that last one. I’ve never seen a fish act so puppylike; I guess everyone enjoys a good scratch when they’re itchy. 😉

  115. BStrange: If you scroll along the similar videos, you can catch a pregnant cleaner shrimp “cleaning” someone’s hand.

  116. BStrange says:

    I saw that one! I almost linked it too, but I’d already done two more and figured I should stop. 😀 I bet that tickles, too.

  117. Fun Fact says:

    From what I heard, this turtle is on ecstacy.

  118. My Cat likes to be brushed every day but when I saw this turtle being brushed I thought that there was something that liked to be brushed even more how CUTE! so now when I brush my cat I will think of this turtle and laugh while I brush my cat.

  119. that’s so funny….

  120. HEAVENP11 says: