A spectacular video captured hundreds of dolphins in a “superpod” slicing through choppy, slate-gray waters off Monterey Bay, Calif., while on the ravenous hunt for bait fish.
This video was filmed by Patrick Webster, a social media content creator with Monterey Bay Aquarium, on Labor Day around 11 a.m. off of Point Pinos in Pacific Grove.
For the past week, the group of dolphins have been racing up and down in the waters off of Cannery Row and working together to corral schools of bait fish, according to Emerson Brown, who does media outreach at the aquarium. The event isn’t uncommon, he said, but is a yearly occurrence. Superpods have been seen from the back deck at the Monterey Bay Aquarium at this time of year in the past, he said.
However, Brown said it is fairly rare to see the dolphins this close to shore and so readily observable by people.
In the video, several hundred dolphins can be seen. Brown said the whole group likely numbered a thousand dolphins.
“I’m not sure the biological cut off for a ‘superpod,’” he said in an email, “but essentially, this group was a bunch of pods coming together into a super group to chase after available food. Pods are usually smaller family groups or related individuals” of no more than a few dozen or perhaps one hundred individuals.
“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,” Webster told The Washington Post.