Thursday, May 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Speedy, the 150+ Year Old Galapagos Tortoise, and Some Perspective on Time

Speedy, the San Diego Zoo's oldest animal (about 150 years old in 2011)

A few years ago, while visiting the San Diego Zoo's galapagos tortoise exhibit, I read on the placard that Speedy was over 150 years old.  I had heard about tortoises living a very long time before, but for the first time I realized that Speedy was alive when the American Civil War was raging.  People who were born in the late 18th and 19th centuries could have seen him.

All of those ancestors of mine who were alive in that time period, a small sample including Eli Matthews, Susan Hanon, Mary Henderson, and Jesse Webb (see below), a time that might as well have been 1,000 years ago in my perspective, their lives overlapped this creature's lifespan.
Speedy's contemporary, my 2rd great grandfather Jesse David Webb (1860-1935), courtesy of Olive Kennedy.

Speedy has outlived every single person who was born before and during the Civil War.  The oldest Civil War veteran, Albert Woolson, died in 1956, at a mere 109 years.
Albert Woolson, from Wikipedia

As of now only about 3 people are verified to have even been born in the 1899.  Everyone else was born in the 1900s and after.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear, the tortoise and Mr. Woolson look very much alike.