The World on the Turtle’s Back

Category: Ethics
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Great A’Tuin is a rare fictional giant tortoise species living in outer space. On the turtle’s back are four giant elephants, which, in turn, hold on their backs a huge Disc covered with a blue dome of the atmosphere. The elephants are named Berilia, Tubul, Great T’Fon and Jerakin. According to the theory of the “Fifth Elephant”, there were originally five elephants, but one elephant could not stay on the turtle’s back and, flying in orbit around it, crashed into the Disk.

A’Tuin slowly floats through space on the same course he knows. Many hypotheses have been put forward about where the stellar turtle is heading and what happens to life on Discworld when it reaches its final destination, but no one has yet managed to get any evidence to support these theories. The gender of Great A’Tuin is unknown, although many attempts have been made by scientists and philosophers to answer this question over the centuries.

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Specially trained telepathic wizards trained on giant sea turtles tried to read A’Tuin’s thoughts, but their attempts were unsuccessful, since the Great Turtle’s brain functions in a cosmic timeline. Nevertheless, telepaths managed to read the minds of the elephants and establish that they are terribly bored and their backs hurt.

Scientists from the island nation of Krull, located near the Edge of the Disc, built a special ship, which they intended to launch from the Edge, in order to establish the gender of A’Tuin experimentally. The experiment was thwarted by Rincewind and Twoflower, who actually hijacked the spaceship.

In the book Mad Star, it was revealed that A’Tuin was heading for a place where eight turtle eggs are floating in space. For the turtles to hatch, it was necessary to cast eight spells from the magic book “Octavo”. Upon reaching the nest, he waited until tiny turtles hatched from the eggs, each with elephants and their own disc on their backs, and then continued on their way through time and space.

There is a hypothesis that the first Great Turtles were created by the Creator. Subsequently, they began to reproduce naturally.

Despite his seeming phlegm, the Great A’Tuin takes care of his burden. For example, the book “Thief of Time” mentions a meteorite that was supposed to crash into the Disc, but was caught by the Great A’Tuin, who jerked his head specifically for this.

The concept of the Earth as a Disk is known in the mythology of various religions. So, in Hinduism and Buddhism, which adopted its concept of the world, the land of people – Jambudvipa – is a gigantic disk, in the center of which is the sacred Mount Meru, the peak of the world and the abode of the gods; the sun, moon and stars revolve around its own summit, and all continents are just its slopes. The edges of the disk are surrounded by the ocean, which is prevented from flowing into the void by a ring of impenetrable mountains.

The mention of the world turtle with a similar name – Maturin – is found in the cycle of books by Stephen King “The Dark Tower”.

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The World On The Turtle's Back. (2021, Jul 13). Retrieved from