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Nature & Environment Thousands of Dolphins Form 'Mega-Pod' Near San Diego (Video)

Thousands of Dolphins Form 'Mega-Pod' Near San Diego (Video)

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First Posted: Feb 19, 2013 08:53 AM EST
Dolphins
Hundreds of bottlenose dolphins have been dying all along the East Coast. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may have an explanation for the mass of deaths. It turns out that a virus has been running rampant through dolphin populations and may continue until 2014. (Photo : Flickr)

Passengers aboard a tour boat off of the coast of San Diego got quite the view yesterday. They saw thousands of dolphins which made up a "super mega-pod." The boat then followed the dolphins for more than an hour.

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Supposedly more than seven miles long and five miles wide, the massive pod of dolphins surprised even Capt. Joe Dutra, who was piloting the boat. He estimated that there were about 100,000 dolphins swimming in the area.

"When you see something that is honestly truly beyond belief," Dutra said in an interview with NBC 7.

So what caused this massive pod of dolphins? In an interview with BBC News, marine mammal expert Sarah Wilkin said that it was possible that the dolphins were there due to an abundance of food in the area, such as sardines, herring and squid.

Typically, pods consist of groups that have 200 individuals or less, but this "super-pod" isn't completely unheard of. In January, a dolphin stampede was caught on video off of Dana Point. The incident involved about 1,000 common dolphins that began to speed across the water. A captain that was present during the phenomenon, Dave Anderson, said that it was like being in the midst of a herd of wild horses in an interview with the LA Times. The dash began in an instant with some dolphins reaching speeds of more than 25 mph, outpacing his boat.

These aren't the only incidents, though. At the end of February of last year, an unspecified group of dolphins was spotted swimming about 65 miles north of San Diego. These incidents could hint at an unacknowledged migratory pattern that dolphins embark on.

Whatever the case, the sight was certainly spectacular. If you want to see it for yourself, check out the video below or here.

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