A mega dolphin pod was spotted off the coast of California last Thursday by a whale watching cruise.
The dolphins swam alongside the boat for about an hour. According to Capt. Joe Dutra of Hornblower Cruises, the pod was about five miles wide and seven miles long. Perhaps 100,000 dolphins swam with the pod.
Dolphins are social animals, but usually swim in groups of less than two hundred. A quick perusal of YouTube shows that while forming mega pods may not be the usual way for dolphins to behave, it’s not terribly unusual, either.
According to the Ocean Institute, common dolphins (the species these dolphins most likely belong to) sometimes form groups of five thousand or more.
This video shows the dolphins swimming much closer together than in most mega pods. There do seem to be more of them.
What likely brought the dolphins together was an abundance of prey in one location. In the video, you can see seabirds flying above the dolphins, waiting for the leftovers.