UMD’s Beloved Turtle Statue Was Set On Fire In Terrible Final Exams Omen

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I vividly remember stopping by a statue in the quad during a campus tour of the university I’d eventually attend. The statue was of two stallions made of bronze. The regal, muscular beasts were up on their hind legs fighting each other. One of the stallions, the one we all assumed was winning the ferocious battle, had a really impressive, yet seemingly unnecessary, set of bronze testicles on him.

Our tour guide, a nerdy upperclassman that I had audibly expressed my disdain for during the tour, told my group of a longstanding student tradition of rubbing the stallion’s bulging balls before taking exams. It was apparently good luck to do so. I never did it. Something about rubbing another creature’s private parts in public didn’t sit well with me. I always admired those nuts from a distance each time I walked past, however.

The University of Maryland has a “good luck” exam ritual of their own that involves a campus statue. Testudo, a 1,000-pound bronze statue of a terrapin, the UMD mascot, is the site of student offerings prior to exams. Dropping sacrificial gifts at Testudo’s side, much like the rubbing of the Stallion balls, is supposed to bring students good luck while taking exams.

Well, some heartless asshole set Testudo on fire early this morning.

From the Baltimore Sun:

Sometime after midnight, Testudo was ablaze after those offerings caught fire, according to several witnesses who expressed their shock on social media.

Campus police are investigating the cause of the fire, and they said “malicious intent” has not been ruled out.

Students began tweeting about the incident. The below tweet shows Testudo’s condition throughout the day and into the night, beginning with the many offerings sitting aside and on top of the cute-as-fuck turtle, and ending with the aftermath of the fire.

Here it is again, fully ablaze:

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 1.29.01 PM

I have good news to report, though. The turtle is made of bronze, and its base of concrete, so, you know, he was fine after the fire. Check him out:

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 12.01.21 PM

An investigation is ongoing.

[via Baltimore Sun]

Images via Twitter


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Dillon Cheverere

Dillon Cheverere (@DCheverere) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. Email:

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