Experts working at Dana Wharf Whale Watching in California are no strangers to exceptional wildlife encounters.
But on a recent excursion, naturalists had an exceptional encounter with a “mega pod” of common dolphins putting on a “phenomenal stampede.”
“Today’s Dolphin stampede was one for the books! We’ve seen quite a few of them but this is exceptionally beautiful,” the tour agency wrote in a Sept. 21 Instagram post.
A video shows the enormous group of dolphins diving in and out of the water.
Dolphins typically occur in large social groups of a few hundred individuals, but they can also appear in larger groups of thousands, known as “mega-pods,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“These animals could be seen for well over a half a mile in any direction,” the agency wrote on Instagram. “At one point they took off in a dolphin stampede as the concentration of dolphins came together headed out to sea.”
Social media commenters shared their awe at the encounter.
“Wowww I’ve never seen anything like this! Phenomenal indeed!” one person commented on Instagram.
“Spectacular!” another comment said.
“Stunning!” a third comment said.
Dana Point is about 60 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.