Hundreds of dolphins were seen chasing baitfish along the coast of California on Labor Day as a superpod dropped by for a visit.
The magical moment was caught on film by staff from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They shared it to Facebook where it went viral, racking up over 140,000 views in less than two days.
“For the last week, there has been this group of dolphins racing up and down off of Cannery Row as the dolphins work together to corral up schools of baitfish,” said the aquarium in a statement alongside the video.
Sightings like this are fairly common out at sea, but are rare closer to the land, according to the aquarium.
“We have seen these super pods from the back deck at the Monterey Bay Aquarium this time of year before,”
“However, it is fairly rare to see them this close to shore and so readily observable by people, these gatherings are often found way offshore. So it’s a very special sighting nearshore of one of the ocean’s magical moments often hidden away from human observation, but to the dolphins it was probably just another Monday.”
Smaller dolphin pods, typically around 50 or 60, are better for hunting fish. A larger pod, however, offers more security and tends to form under the threat of a predator such as a great white. Large pods tend to form when food is plentiful, but scientists say that they sometimes form for no clear reason.
Video credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium via Storyful