A breathtaking video of a pack of 1000 dolphins stampeding past a boat has gone viral, according to The Los Angeles Times. Dave Anderson, the captain of Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari, told the newspaper that this sort of event is extremely rare.
“It’s one of those things you can hope for it, but you can’t plan for it,” Mr. Anderson said. “It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of beautiful and interesting things.”
According to the seagoer, the dolphins charged past his boat at speeds of more than 25 mph.
“Suddenly, like someone fired a gun,” Mr. Anderson said, “they’re off and running.”
He and the other people who witnessed the event have no idea why the dolphins were stampeding across the ocean.
“We don’t know,” he told The LA Times. “I know they’re not running away from the boat. It seems like they’re responding to something but I just don’t know what it is.”
According to The Telegraph, a superpod can exceed 1,000 dolphins.
This isn’t the first time that such behavior has been captured on tape. Petethomasoutdoors.com noted in September 2012 that photographer Chase Jarvis and Mike Horn had a rare encounter with a superpod of dolphins off the coast of South Africa.
Jarvis wrote about the encounter and posted a video of the stampeding dolphins on his blog.
“The water boiled for literally a mile in every direction…only as it approached at the speed of a swift wave did we see first a nose, then another, then a dorsal fin and then a thousand of them, then more,” he wrote. “Only then did we realize we were experiencing the rare ‘superpod’ of dolphins. Not dozens, not hundreds, but thousands of them — so thick you could have walked across their backs had they been game for it.”
While no explanation for the stampeding dolphins has surfaced as of yet, the National Geographic notes that dolphins like to travel in social groups and talk with each other using a complex system of squeaks and whistles.
As of Wednesday morning, the video has received more than 300,000 views on YouTube.
Why might dolphins be stampeding through the water in a group of 1000 or more? Were they just showing off for the people on the boat or were they trying to communicate something to one another or their human onlookers? Sound off in the comments section.