Viral image of rare blue turtle actually shows an artist-made glass pendant

The claim: Viral image shows a rare blue turtle from the Atlantic Ocean

A social media post is amazing followers with an image of an extraordinary looking turtle. However, the image does not show a rare turtle species, rather a piece of art.

“This is not ceramics, but a small turtle living in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. She was shown to tourists by a Panamanian diver and then released back!!!” claims the March 11 Facebook post.

The post includes an image purporting to be a small blue, white and yellow turtle held in someone’s hand.

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Within hours, the post had more than 500 shares.

Many Facebook users commented on the image’s beauty, while others voiced their suspicions. Despite what some Facebook users may believe, the “turtle” was created by a glass artist and does not resemble a real species.

USA TODAY reached out tothe poster for comment.

A glass turtle made by an artist

The image shows a turtle pendant made by glass artist Paul Katherman. He creates work for Katherman Glass, a family run business that makes glass art pieces.

Katherman posted the images to the Katherman Glass Instagram account on May 13, 2014.

“First turtle made in the new studio. Available. Message me. Flower SeaTurtle,” he captioned the image. “$90 plus $5 shipping.”

Images of similar glass turtles that Katherman has made are visible here and here.

In the photo, the hole where the pendant can be strung with a chain is visible on the side of the turtle’s head.

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Katherman did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.

USA TODAY could find no evidence to support the poster’s story about a Panamanian diver finding the turtle in the Atlantic Ocean.

Our rating: False

The claim that a viral image shows a rare blue turtle living in the Atlantic Ocean is FALSE. The image shows a glass turtle pendant made by an artist. There is no evidence this turtle resembles a real species.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Image of glass turtle pendant miscaptioned as real animal