This Is What It Looks Like When Dolphins 'Stampede'

More

Spoiler: It looks awesome.

Once in a while, very -- very -- rarely, dolphins will abandon their standard serenity and go on a romp that we humans refer to, aptly, as a "stampede." The phenomenon, which involves sub-pods joining together into one splashy social -- and which does indeed resemble the crowd dynamics of wild horses -- is an amazing sight: The creatures, choreographed in a synchronized system that would put our own social networks to shame, leap and churn and leap some more in frenzied-yet-graceful unison.

In the video above, a pod of about 1,000 common dolphins -- creatures known for their propensity to charge boats and swim in their wakes -- were captured stampeding off the coast of Dana Point, California, an area that boasts more oceanic dolphins per square mile than anywhere else in the world. The resulting footage -- one of the lucky humans who witnessed the event in person called it "the shot of a lifetime" -- is reminiscent of a similar video that was created last February. One that, just like the video above, depicts a group of our sea-faring friends seeming to defy nature precisely by embracing its quirks.

Jump to comments

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

What makes a story great? The storytellers behind House of CardsThis American LifeThe Moth, and more reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In