Tommy the Turtle – Bottineau, North Dakota - Atlas Obscura
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Tommy the Turtle

Bottineau, North Dakota

The world's tallest turtle riding the world's largest snowmobile. 


A northern North Dakota city holds one of the state’s most bizarre roadside attractions. There, an utterly enormous turtle sits atop an equally enormous snowmobile.

Towering a whopping 30-foot tall, Tommy is the touted as world’s tallest turtle. That isn’t the only record-breaking thing about him: His 34-foot-long ride is said to be the world’s largest snowmobile.

Supposedly, Tommy is meant to stand as a symbol of the Turtle Mountains, an area that stretches across this part of northern North Dakota. The three-ton turtle was constructed in 1978 by an Idaho native named Boots Reynolds. The colossal fiberglass configuration was then carted to Bottineau, via several flatbed trucks.

He’s a bit of a strange looking turtle. His eyes and nostrils take the shape of inverted quotation marks, and his mouth is no more than a black line streaking across his face, giving him a rather goofy grin.

But regardless of his unusual appearance, Tommy is a hit with local children. Kids can—and do—climb aboard his snowmobile, making for a great photo opportunity. The surrounding park, aptly named Tommy Turtle Park, is also a leisurely place to relax.

Know Before You Go

Tommy Turtle Park is open 24 hours a day, though it's best to go during daylight hours.

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