Charles Darwin’s trip to the Galapagos Islands in 1835 was the catalyst for his development of the theories of evolution. During his trip he famously studied the giant tortoise, but he and his assistant Syms Covington’s first encounters with the creatures were far from graceful. What happened?

Answer: Darwin and Covington attempted to gauge the weight by tipping one over, which neither of them could do. The great naturalist even briefly, and regrettably, rode one of the tortoise, which, thankfully, seemed untroubled by Darwin’s efforts.

Source: Charles Darwin by Rebecca Stefoff

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