Runway Closed by Swarm of Turtles

Terrorists? Toxic gas cloud? Meteor shower? No—the NYT reports JFK's Runway 4 was closed for over an hour today because a hundred turtles crawled all over it.

That's a lot of turtles, right? I think I'd consider any group of more than, like, four turtles to be a lot of turtles. But a hundred! And not just turtles—diamondback terrapins. What a regal reptile. It must have been a majestic sight. Unless your plane was delayed, in which case you were probably somewhere between miffed and terrified. But can you blame the poor shelled things? No! "They look for sandy spots to lay their eggs," explained an NY Port Authority spokesman, "and there is an ideal location on the other side of Runway 4L. They come out of the water and cross the runway to lay their eggs in the sand." They just wanted to lay their eggs. Haven't you ever run through a turtle pond on the way to deliver a human baby? It's just like that.

This happened in 2009—and that time it was 78 turtles. Do you know what that means? They're growing in numbers.

See you in 2013. [NYT] (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A)