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THEORY: What They Don’t Want You To Know About Testudo


Make an offering to Testudo, or fail that very important exam that you should have studied for, but didn’t.

Every UMD student has given offerings to Testudo in the hopes that his magical turtle powers would somehow give you an advantage on that exam. Now, how many times has that actually worked?

Research by The Black Sheep shows that 85% of students have gotten bad exam grades, despite giving generous offerings to Daddy Testudo. Last semester, one student received a 29% on an important exam, despite giving that goddamn turtle a Chipotle burrito. WITH GUAC. At that point, the student realized that Testudo doesn’t bring good fortune; instead, he brings terrible, awful omens.

We at The Black Sheep know you may be doubtful; it was a hard conclusion for us to come to. However, when you think about it, it all adds up perfectly. You’re probably wondering why the school would encourage interaction with Testudo if he did bring bad fortune. Well, let us ask you: do you think the school would have anything to gain from students receiving bad luck? And if your answer to that is no, well, we’ve got bad news: you are one hundred percent wrong.

Think about it: if more students fail, they’ll have to retake classes for an extra semester or during the summer, and that means they’ll be paying more money to the University (and don’t even get me started with differential tuition). It’s just good business sense on their part.



Are you convinced yet? Well if not, there’s more.

Our beloved statue did not live a great life. On May 23, 1933, Testudo was first unveiled to the public. On May 25, 1933, exactly two days after his unveiling, Testudo’s live model passed away. Following the tragedy, Testudo spent the next fifteen years of his life in front of Ritchie Coliseum, being constantly vandalized by rival schools.

In 1947, Testudo was stolen from his home by Johns Hopkins University. The incident forced Testudo into hiding until he was unveiled to the public again in 1949, this time in front of McKeldin Library. Two years later, they filled him with seven hundred pounds of cement to prevent future kidnappings from occurring.

Remember when we mentioned Testudo’s live model? His death serves a much bigger part of this theory. Testudo’s live model’s body was stuffed and is now in the third floor of Hornbake Library.

Testudo is using his turtle powers to cause bad fortune so that people will vandalize him. Why would he do this, you ask. Historically, whenever he was heavily vandalized, the University moved him. In 1951, he was moved to Maryland Stadium, for continued vandalism.

After this, Wilson Homer Elkins served began his tenure as president of the university. Misfortune struck the university when Elkins introduced the “Academic Probation Plan,” which threatened 18% of the student body with expulsion. Testudo was later moved back to McKeldin again, due to continued vandalism.

If it isn’t obvious yet, we’ll just point it out: Testudo uses his powers to cause bad luck because he wants to be moved, moved back to Hornbake. He wants to be with his deceased friend again! It all adds up.

Now if you aren’t convinced at this point, we apologize. However, we’d just like to remind you that if you don’t think there is significant misfortune in our campus, just remember our overall graduation rate is 86.4%, and Duke’s is 94.5%.




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