A pod of hundreds of dolphins was caught on camera “stampeding” across the ocean off Dana Point on Sunday, Aug. 9, wowing spectators out at sea.
The video was taken during a whale watching charter operated by Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, it was described as a “remarkable encounter” with common dolphins.
Dolphin stampede behavior can be described as porpoising out of the water at a high rate of speed. Porpoising is the fastest mode of travel for dolphins because there is less resistance in the air than in water, according to the announcement.
It is not known exactly what causes common dolphins to stampede.
“It’s thought that the dolphins could be evading a predator such as orcas, racing to catch a food source, or meeting up with another pod of dolphins,” the charter operation said in an announcement of the encounter, noting the stampedes happen without warning or provocation. “They are not scared of the boat.”
It’s not the first time stampeding behavior has been caught on camera off the Orange County coastline. A video taken off Laguna Beach last year made news worldwide and another pod doing the same behavior a few months ago caused a buzz off local waters.
Southern California has the greatest density of dolphins per square mile of anywhere else on Earth, according to Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, including nearly 450,000 common dolphins, the species stampeding in the video shot on Sunday. Large mega-pods that can number in herds of up to 10,000 have been spotted off the coast.
Source: Orange County Register