A group of sightseers off the coast of Orange County captured a rare moment with thousands of dolphins “stampeding” through the water.
The video from Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari on Monday has already gone viral.
The crew was in the Pacific Ocean off Dana Point when they were surrounded by an enormous dolphin pod.
Cameras captured the moment when the giant pod suddenly burst out swimming simultaneously.
“It was amazing,” Owner Captain Dave Anderson said.
In the decades since Anderson has been taking people on his ocean excursions, dolphin stampedes are an extremely rare occurrence, he said.
“They were porpoising through the water. We call it a stampede, ” Anderson said.
“It’s remarkable because there are moments when it looks like all of them are jumping in the air.”
Anderson estimated that the pod was made up of around 2,000 common dolphins.
Those who experienced the event said it was like being surrounded by a herd of wild horses, except the mammals were galloping through waves, swimming at speeds faster than 25 mph.
Although Anderson has seen large dolphin stampedes before and is an expert on marine life, he is not sure why dolphins do it.
“The first time I saw it, I was like, ‘what the heck is going on?!,’” he said.
“It often happens after they have eaten. Maybe they are all saying to each other, ‘Come on, let’s move, let’s go somewhere.’”
Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari offers daily trips out on the ocean.