Author Topic: The Lake of the Returned Sword  (Read 1398 times)


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The Lake of the Returned Sword
« on: February 06, 2005, 03:07:26 AM »
The legendary turtles living in Hoan Kiem Lake in Vietnamís capital Hanoi are the most endangered freshwater turtles in the world, said the Vietnam Wildlife Conservation Society.  
Up to now, only one single individual of the species has been seen in the lake, the Vietnam Wildlife Conservation Society said. According to Vietnamís Red Book of Endangered Species, the species is possibly the Asian giant soft-shelled turtle.

14th century legend

The legend of the rare turtle species goes back to the mid-1400s when the great king Le Loi used a heaven-sent sword to hold off Chinese invaders.

After the final battle, as the king was boating in Hanoi, his sword leapt from its scabbard and into the mouth of the turtle. The turtle plunged underwater with the sword, never to be seen again, and the lake has been known as Ho Hoan Kiem ever since ó the Lake of the Returned Sword.

Many Vietnamese believe the turtle with Le Loi's sword is still living in the lake which would make the sacred turtle about 550 years old.

Meanwhile, some international scientists believe the huge turtles could be an entirely new freshwater species, one never yet documented or studied. Their theory relies on the analyses of a few photographs that show the shape of the turtle's head and shell.

Vietnam is home to 23 terrestrial and freshwater kinds of turtles. All creatures are considered extremely endangered.
The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.Ē - Charles Baudelaire (French and monstrous poet).