Some whale watchers caught much more than they bargained for over the weekend. A video shows a “dolphin stampede” with more than 300 of the finned animals breaching the water.
The video was captured during a tour by Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari. The company’s Facebook page notes that the pod, found off the coast of Dana Point, California, included an estimated 300 common dolphins.
“Dolphin stampede behavior can be described as porpoising out of the water at a high rate of speed,” the post explains. “Porpoising is the fastest mode of travel for dolphins because there is less resistance in the air than in water.”
The dolphins might stampede to dodge predators, catch food or meet up with another pod. The company added that stampedes happen without any warning, so the chances of catching one are rare.
Apparently, many dolphins are born in the summer. Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari told viewers to keep an eye out for babies jumping alongside their moms as there are “a greater than usual number of baby dolphins at this time of year.”
This month is a big one for fans of ocean creatures. Those who can’t head out on popular dolphin and whale watching tours right now are tuning into Shark Week on Discovery Channel and Sharkfest on National Geographic.
Meanwhile, the Smithsonian just announced the acquisition of a frozen megamouth shark, a rare fish that has only been spotted a few times since the 1970s. The opportunity to study the shark, which is frozen in a block of ice, will give scientists answers to questions they’ve had for decades.