Tourists on a charter boat off southern California were bowled over by a “dolphin stampede” of as many as 1,000 of the mammals.
The Dana Wharf Whale Watching expedition kept up with the spectacular sight last month off Dana Point in Orange County for some four hours.
The charter company took credit for naming the sight a stampede, though it’s more accurately called a “super” or “mega” pod of dolphins.
“They are so graceful, even in the frenzied behavior, and we are so amazed to see them right off our coast,” the company noted in the description of its YouTube video of the scene.
The highly social animals normally travel in groups of about 200 or fewer. Mega pods can occur when smaller groups merge in an area with a high concentration of food.
In 2013, a charter boat captain reported a super mega pod of thousands of whales over miles of water off San Diego.
“You could see them as far as the eye can see,” Joe Dutra told NBC Channel 7 News in San Diego.
Marine mammal expert Sarah Wilkin explained at the time: “They’re attracted to kind of the same thing” and can “wind up in the same place.”
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