Skip to navigationSkip to content

Scientists put baby sea turtles on tiny treadmills to find out why man-made light is killing them

Michael Tabb
By Michael Tabb


For sea turtles, merely surviving is an incredible feat.

Only about one in one thousand sea turtles make it to adulthood. And the dangers start early. Many don’t even survive their first journey from their mothers’ nests onshore to the ocean, where they can rejoin their families.

One reason the trek is so dangerous is man-made light, which disorients the turtles and causes many of them to get lost. But does getting lost have to be a death sentence? Watch the video above to see how researchers tried to answer this question by testing baby sea turtles’ stamina, with the help of a tiny treadmill.

Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.