A dolphin "stampede" involving possibly thousands of the marine mammals was captured on video last week.
The footage was shot from a whale and dolphin watching boat called the Dana Pride. It's operated by the company Dana Wharf located in southern California. CBS News reports that the mega-pod of dolphins could number close to 2,000 and was swimming at around 25 miles per hour.
Contrary to the idea that the dolphins are having a grand ol' time, it's more likely that the noise, vibration and water turbulence caused by the boat may have frightened the dolphins, which all reacted at once. As one YouTube commenter asks: "Do you really have to drive your boat through the middle of them?"
Whale and dolphin watching is big business in that area, however, so at least people are out watching and not hunting these marine mammals. Photos of similar dolphin "stampedes" are fairly common on the net.
The animals look to be short-beaked common dolphins. They grow to about 9 feet long and weigh around 440 pounds each. According to the organization Ocean Institute, "At times, these dolphins are found in tremendously large pod sizes of 5000 or more."
The institute has a vessel called the Sea Explorer. On it, according to the org, "there have been days when you could not see the end of the pod on all sides of the boat. Common dolphins are always a favorite for kids (and adults too!) because of their outrageous behavior. Common dolphins frequently leap 6 or more feet out of the water, splashing down on their sides. They are also seen tail-walking, breaching, tail-slapping, mating, and feeding."
Here's the video shot from the Dana Pride: