According to this message, which has circulated widely via Facebook and other social media websites, an accompanying photograph depicts the world’s largest tortoise being transported on the bed of a truck. The message claims that the massive tortoise was found in the Amazon River, weighs 800 pounds and is 529 years old.

Not surprisingly, the picture does not depict a real tortoise or turtle or even a “tortise”. The picture is in fact taken from a 2006 Japanese movie titled “Gamera the Brave”. The movie is one in a series of titles that feature a gigantic turtle with special powers. In this film, a young boy finds an egg that hatches a small turtle. The turtle grows very quickly and later flies away and does not return after the boy and his friends move him to an abandoned shack.Later, the “kaiju” (strange beast or monster”), now enormous, reappears to do battle with the malevolent monster Zedus. However, the juvenile Gamera is bested by Zedus in the battle and is wounded. An article discussing the film on ScifiJapan.com explains what happens after the battle:

People line the streets to see Gamera. Before long, a military unit arrives and the unconscious kaiju is loaded onto a truck and transported to a research facility in Nagoya for scientific examination. Kousuke and Toru follow, and soon learn that the scientists have information that will hopefully help them to revive Gamera. Galapagos giant tortoise #RumorControl / World’s Largest Tortoise found in Amazon – 800lb

Presumably, the circulating image is taken from this portion of the film. The same snapshot is included in several articles about the movie.Incidentally, if the massive beast shown in the picture was actually real, it would almost certainly weigh much more than 800 pounds as claimed in the message. The Galápagos tortoise, the largest living species of tortoise, reach weights of more than 550 pounds, although they are considerably smaller – around five feet or so for the larger animals – than the monster depicted in the picture. Although the Galápagos tortoise cannot fly or battle deadly monsters like Gamera can, they are remarkable creatures that can live for more than 100 years in the wild. And, unlike Gamera, they actually exist in real life.


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