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Whale-Watching Vessel Captures Mesmerizing Footage Of Dolphins Doing Flips Alongside Boat

Four panels show the progression of a dolphin doing a somersault flip above water.

While watching whales, seeing other marine life is always possible. During a recent whale-watching tour, the group saw several Pacific white-sided dolphins. Seeing the dolphins swimming was cool enough, but the real show was when they started doing somersaults! While other types of dolphins flip. jump, and spin out of the water, the Pacific white-sided dolphin is the only one that does complete somersaults.


Gotta love pacific white sided dolphins. From today 3-6-24

♬ original sound – Discovery Whale Watch

It is often said that dolphins are the gymnasts of the sea. Watching their acrobatic displays, it is easy to see how they got that reputation. Spinner dolphins jump out of the water and spin through the air in a wild, gyrating dance. It is relatively easy to identify Pacific white-sided dolphins from their coloration. While most dolphins have a uniform color, the white-sided dolphin is primarily dark gray to black, with grayish-white sides, a white underside, and a two-toned dorsal fin.

Pacific white-sided dolphins swimming together. Images shows two dolphins jumping clear of the water.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

No one knows why dolphins flip. Marine biologists speculate that they could be trying to dislodge parasites, while others contend that the movements are a type of communication. Still, others think the dolphins might flip to have fun because they enjoy the activity. It is always enjoyable to watch, no matter why they do their water gymnastics. We have watched several of the Pacific white-sided dolphins perform somersaults. We observed that no matter how masterful the somersault is, they all end with a bellyflop and a big splash.

Left image shows shows a Pacific white-sided dolphin in mid-flip. Right image shows a different white-sided dolphin belly-flopping into the water.
Image from TikTok.

A different whale-watching tour caught similar footage in 2019 and posted it on Facebook. In that incredible video, they recorded the same dolphin doing more than 20 flips! Dolphins flip pretty often, but catching them in action on video is rare. Please spread the joy by sharing.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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