Leatherback turtles have been recorded as diving as deep as 1250 m below the surface, or 4,101 ft. However, they generally stay within 300 m (984.25 ft) of the surface.
Leatherback turtles have many adaptations that allow them to survive such deep dives. For example, they have large stores of oxygen in their blood in muscles, collapsable lungs, a pulmonary sphincter to divert blood away from collapsed lungs, flexible shell, and a slow heart rate. Very cool!
While rare, sea turtles have been recorded to make dives of more than 1000 meters into the oceans’ depths. According to findings by researchers at the University of Swansea in Britain, most sea turtle dives (99% of the 26,000 sea turtle dives they recorded) don’t go below 300 meters. The depth to which a turtle will dive typically correlates with food availability, so another appropriate answer to the stated question is just as far as it takes to fill one’s belly.
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