Rare white sea turtle hatches on South Carolina beach

It’s always amazing to see animals born in nature with unique features. Some are born with conditions like albinism, giving them a different pigmentation that makes them really stand out from the crowd.

Which is why locals were stunned this week after a nest of turtles hatched on a South Carolina beach, and one of them was not like the others.

On October 19, the Turtle Patrol of Kiawah Island found a turtle nest on the beach, and inventoried the new hatchlings.

But they were stunned to see one of the newborns was a rare white turtle:

The unique animal quickly became a favorite of local onlookers: “You can imagine the excited ‘oohs’ and the ‘aah’s’ from the guests,” the Town of Kiawah Island wrote on Facebook.

Not even the Turtle Squad had ever encountered anything like this: “It was a first for everyone in attendance!” The photos also went viral, being shared over 600 times.

The turtle was originally reported to be “albino,” but one commenter pointed out that the turtle is actually leucistic, meaning they have reduced pigmentation instead of the complete lack of pigmentation albinism causes.

Unfortunately, these unique-looking creatures often have a tougher time surviving in the wild—their unique color makes them stand out to predators.

While the Town of Kiawah Island debated what to do with the rare turtle, ultimately decided to let it continue in its natural habitat, not wanting to interfere with nature, and the turtle swam back to the sea.

Still, for these beachgoers it was a rare moment to get to see a one-of-a-kind creature up close. We hope this little guy grows up into adulthood.

What a beautiful, unique animal! It must’ve been incredible to see this newborn up close. Share this fascinating story!