Tourists off the coast of San Diego appeared to be lucky as they saw a rare spectacle, when the cruise boat they were on ran into an¬†enormous pack of dolphins.
As The Huffington Post reports, the phenomenon, called a¬†“super pod,”¬†occurred across 7 miles of the California coastline.
Capt. Joe Dutra of Hornblower Cruises confirmed later that the pod was more than seven miles long and five miles wide.
‚ÄúWhen you see something that is honestly truly beyond belief,‚ÄĚ he told reporters.
Passengers of the boat started screaming and pointing when they first saw the school of adult and juvenile common dolphins.
‚ÄúThey were coming from all directions, you could see them from as far as the eye can see,‚ÄĚ the captain said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve seen a lot of stuff out here ‚Ä¶ but this is the biggest I‚Äôve ever seen, ever.‚ÄĚ
Dave Anderson, the captain of Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari, revealed that in the decades among Southern California’s dense dolphin population, pod is a phenomenon he’s encountered only several times.
“It’s one of those things you can hope for it, but you can’t plan for it,” he said. “It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of beautiful and interesting things” on the water.
Mr Anderson went on, adding that the sensation was like being in the midst of a herd of wild horses. ‚ÄúThe dash began in an instant‚ÄĚ, he said. At some points the dolphins reached speeds of more than 25 mph, outpacing his boat, The Los Angeles Times writes.
Marine mammal expert Sarah Wilkin suggested that the dolphins may have been in that area searching for food they prefer the most – herrings and sardines.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre attracted to kind of the same thing, they might wind up in the same place,‚ÄĚ she said.
Though as a rule dolphins travel in groups of 200 or less, the expert said ‚Äúsuper-pods‚ÄĚ are not unheard of.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre definitely social animals, they stick together in small groups,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúBut sometimes, the schools come together.‚ÄĚ
Dutra, who has been linked to water for decades, said he felt lucky to enjoy such a rare phenomenon.
‚ÄúYou had to be there to experience it,‚ÄĚ he said.¬† ‚ÄúIt was truly spectacular.‚ÄĚ
A similar sighting took place at¬†Dana Point, CA ‚ÄĒ about 65 miles from San Diego ‚ÄĒ in January. But it‚Äôs still not clear whether those two events can be linked together.
Two year ago another dolphin pod was spotted off the north coast of Skye.
The boat’s owner Nick Davies, estimated there were about 1,000 short-beaked common dolphin at the time.
He revealed to reporters that he had only seen such a sight once before in 15 years of operating.
Mr Davies said the Skye pod included adults, juveniles and calves: “They were everywhere you looked for as far as you could see.There was five square miles where they just filled the sea.”
It is thought the massive pod was created when smaller ones grouped together to chase a huge shoal of fish, BBC claimed.