Every year, with the coming of Spring, thousands of tourists flock to the Gorges Reservoir to see an elusive turtle-shaped island rise from the waters of the Muodaoxi River, in southwest .
The event, dubbed ‘spring turtle rising from water’, is celebrated by local residents because turtles are considered auspicious and a sign of longevity. Though we would all love to believe in an old spiritual story, or natural phenomenon, but in this case, the ‘magic’ is man made. The water level of Muodaoxi River is controlled by the Three Gorges Dam. In Spring, the reservoir supplies water to the areas downstream, brining down the water level and exposing the island.