SuperBoop

Meet Captain Upcycle, the Turtle Superhero We Deserve!

Hello! It’s me, Boop! I’m the Discovery World spokesturtle. I have some sad news. BEEP AND I AREN’T BEST TURTLE FRIENDS ANYMORE! I’ll tell you the story. It’s an origin story. Okay, it’s an almost-origin story. And then you can tell me who was wrong and why it was Beep, and then maybe you can help me find a new best friend.

It started on Tuesday when Beep and I were out basking. Beep saw a plastic container on the ground. It’s important to keep plastic out of Lake Michigan, so we went to pick it up and throw it away. I don’t know where away is, but it’s not in the lake, so that’s better. Anyway, Beep said that the plastic container should go in the recycling instead of the trash. I said that the plastic container should not go in the recycling because it wasn’t the type of plastic that could be recycled.

In Milwaukee at least, plastic containers with the numbers #1, #2, or #5 on the bottom can be recycled curbside. Other kinds of plastic can’t be recycled. And sure, recycling isn’t perfect, but it keeps a lot of material out of the waste stream and out of landfills.

Then I told Beep that there is something even better than recycling. If you’re clever, and I know you are, you can turn trash into something beautiful or useful or cool (or all three!). It’s called upcycling. You take something that someone was going to throw away. You fix it up or transform it into something new.

So instead of getting into wacky hijinks, Beep and I decided that we were going to make a difference in the world. We decided to become environmentally-themed superheroes, which are even better regular superheroes and totally not lame at all.

Actually, AND THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, we decided that I was going to become an environmentally-themed superhero called Captain Upcycle! Beep would be my sidekick. Captain Upcycle and sidekick Beep would save the day by teaching the world about the importance of recycling and the fun of upcycling!

To become Captain Upcycle, I obviously needed actual superpowers. Beep wanted superpowers, too, but sidekicks don’t really need superpowers. I told Beep that since I would have the superpowers, I would do all the rescuing if Beep ever got in trouble. Beep wanted to do some of the saving and the rescuing and wanted powers, too. What Beep didn’t understand is that great powers come with great responsibilities.

Great powers also come with getting hammered by supervillains, a weird backstory that can be retconned at any time, secret identities that are secret for like a week and then all kinds of trouble happens, former sidekicks that hate you, terrible relationship problems, clones, brainwashing, and amnesia. And it’s not enough that you have to save the city and the world over and over again, you occasionally have to save the Universe. And other Universes. Being a superhero is tough work. I could not put that

kind of burden on Beep. I told Beep this, AND BEEP ACCUSED ME OF WANTING TO BE THE ONLY TURTLE WITH SUPERPOWERS. CAN YOU IMAGINE?

So I took a deep breath, and we tested ourselves to see if we had any superpowers that we didn’t know about. We tried to run super-fast. We could not run super-fast. We could not run any kind of fast. We tried to lift heavy things to see if we were super-strong. Beep and I are not super-strong. We tried to fly by leaping into the air. We could not fly. We could not even leap. We tried to control and manipulate the weather. That did not work. We tried to control magnetic fields. That didn’t work either.

We were unable to shoot lasers out of our eyes. I’m really not sure how useful laser eyes would be, though. Maybe if we had to do some emergency welding or entertain a cat. We also couldn’t get a bow and arrow to work. We couldn’t shrink really small or grow really big. We couldn’t summon an army of squirrels. We couldn’t even summon fish to our aid. We pointed at Lake Michigan and said, “Here, fishy! Here, fishy!” Nothing.

It turns out that I do not have any latent superpowers. I’m adorable, but that’s not really a superpower. I can breathe through my butt, which is pretty cool, but so can Beep and most turtles and lots of other amphibians. Can you breathe through your butt? Is that a thing that humans can do?

(Okay, so we technically don’t “breath through our butts”. It’s called cloacal respiration. In winter, turtles hibernate at the bottom of ponds. We get super cold, but we don’t freeze. And the ponds freeze over, so we can’t swim to the top to get air. And we’re so cold and our metabolism is so slow that we don’t really need much oxygen anyway. The water at the bottom of the pond has oxygen in it, and we pull that oxygen from the water with the blood vessels in our butts. It’s more complicated than that, but so is everything. And that’s how turtles stay alive through the winter.)

Then Beep started talking about our favorite superheroes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Beep kept going and on and on about how great of a team they are and how great it is that they all have powers and work together. Or something. I stopped listening and started formulating a plan. Before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were teenagers, mutants, or ninjas, they were ordinary turtles just like Beep and me. They fell in a sewer and someone accidentally spilled ooze on them. Then they mutated. Then they learned how to be ninjas. Then they grew up to be teenagers. I was going to get superpowers, and I knew just how to do it.

Beep and I headed into the sewers so that someone could accidentally spill mutagenic ooze on us. Well, me. If some accidentally spilled on Beep, there was nothing I could do about it. Eventually we did get covered in ooze, but it was not the kind of ooze that gives you superpowers. So we went home and took a bath.

Undaunted (turtles are never daunted!), Beep and I reviewed the relevant literature and discovered that to become a superhero, you typically have to have some kind of

accident. There are exceptions, of course. You can be an alien from another world. You can be a billionaire genius with a tragic past. You can have some sort of genetic mutation that makes you special. You can find a magic thing that gives you powers. Or space aliens can give you a sufficiently advanced thing that gives you powers. Mostly, though, you need to have some sort of accident.

Well, turtles don’t wait around for accidents to happen. We make accidents happen! And we had a plethora of labs here at Discovery World to have accidents in.

Beep wanted in, of course. So Beep and I bombarded ourselves with cosmic rays. Nothing. We bombarded ourselves with gamma radiation. DO NOT DO THIS. More nothing. We bombarded ourselves with baryons, tachyons, fermions, gluons, huons, and dark neutrinos. None of those worked. We tried swimming around in assorted industrial waste and chemical sludge. DO NOT DO THIS EITHER. That didn’t work. We tried getting struck by lightning while swimming around in assorted industrial waste and chemical sludge. REALLY DO NOT DO THIS. And then we had Steve bite us. Steve is one of our spider friend who happens to be radioactive. At least he says that he’s radioactive. We didn’t check or anything. Maybe Steve just wants to bite us. Regardless, we did not acquire the powers of a spider. Instead, we got an annoying and persistent rash.

We were exhausted from trying to get superpowers, but I wanted to keep going. Beep wanted to go back to our tank. I said, “A sidekick does not leave when the going gets tough. And this proves that I’m the superhero and you’re the sidekick because superheroes don’t quit. Not ever. I can do this all day.” Beep said, “Captain America says that in the movies, and you’re not Captain America. You’re not even Captain Upcycle, yet. And I’m not your sidekick. I don’t think I want to be your friend anymore.” Then Beep left.

I am sad that I don’t have a best turtle friend anymore, but I’m not done trying. I read about one scientist who had his intrinsic field removed with a machine called an intrinsic field subtractor. I have no idea what an intrinsic field is or how you go about subtracting it, but I’ll figure it out. The scientist was destroyed, but then he got better. And he turned as blue as a Smurf and got all kinds of awesome powers. That sounds fun!

And if it works, then maybe Beep can get superpowers, too, I guess. Maybe our powers will complement each other, and we can be co-superheroes and recycle stuff and upcycle stuff and keep plastic out of Lake Michigan and save the environment. That would be awesome. You know? I think I was wrong. And I miss Beep. I don’t really want a new best turtle friend. Beep is my best turtle friend. It would also be terrible if one of us (Beep) became a supervillain because the other (me) was being stubborn and selfish…

I, uh, should really go apologize to Beep.

Be well,

Boop!

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Getting Here

We are located on Milwaukee’s lakefront with easy access on and off of the expressway.

500 N Harbor Dr
Milwaukee, WI 53202
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General Admission

Adults $20
Child (3-17) $16
Child 2 & Under $Free
Senior (60+) $16
College Student* $14
Military Active and Veterans* $14

*Valid ID Required.

Prices are subject to change. Click HERE to buy tickets and for important information you need to know before visiting. 

Current Hours

Wednesday-Sunday: 9am-4pm
Tues-Fri -
Sat & Sun -

Getting Here

We are located on Milwaukee’s lakefront with easy access on and off of the expressway.

500 N Harbor Dr
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Get Directions
Adults $20
Child (3-17) $16
Child 2 & Under $Free
Senior (60+) $16
College Student* $14
Military Active and Veterans* $14
Military* Active Duty & Veterans $14

*Valid ID Required.

Prices are subject to change. Click HERE to buy tickets and for important information you need to know before visiting. 

Current Hours

Wednesday-Sunday: 9am-4pm
Tues-Fri -
Sat & Sun -
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