Viral Video: Huge Dolphin Pod Frolics Near Ferry—'I Couldn't Believe it... 200 Dolphins Just Having so Much Fun, Jumping, Racing'

A megapod of dolphins has been filmed frolicking around a ferry in what has been described as an "awesome" sight.

The 200-strong pod was captured "having fun" by Henry Irizawa, who was on board a ferry travelling from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia in Canada. "I've never seen anything so awesome," he told broadcaster CTV. "You could tell they were having fun. They were so full of joy just breaching and coming up and playing with the ship, in a way."

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According to the report, the other passengers were speechless.

Since posting the video to Facebook on Monday, Irizawa's video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. He said the captain of the ferry alerted the passengers to the spectacle by saying "folks, there's about 200 dolphins straight ahead."

Hundreds of people have commented on the post, mostly saying what an incredible video it is. However, some worried about the safety of the dolphins. One user said: "Why is it ok for a [BC Ferries] vessel to drive straight into a large pod like that?. Why would the vessel not be required to slow or stop to allow them to pass unharmed? Its like intentionally driving a dump truck through a parade or playground. Are the innocents supposed to know to move?, I'm sure at the last second some will realize what is going on and run but what about the ones caught off guard?. This isn't beauty to me."

Many people explained that jumping around boats is normal dolphin behavior observed in populations around the world. It is not exactly clear why they do this, but it has been suggested they are "bow-riding"—a phenomenon where dolphins, porpoises and other marine animals will position themselves so that waves generated by a vessel propel them.

While the video of 200 dolphins has wowed many, it is not the largest pod of dolphins ever recorded. In 2013, a five mile-wide "super mega pod" of dolphins estimated to be made up of 100,000 was spotted off the coast of southern California. Captain Joe Dutra, of Hornblower Cruises, told NBC: "They were coming from all directions, you could see them from as far as the eye can see. I've seen a lot of stuff out here… but this is the biggest I've ever seen, ever."

Sarah Wilkin, a marine mammal expert, told the broadcaster that separate pods might have come together as there was plenty of food in the area. "They're attracted to kind of the same thing, they might wind up in the same place," she said.

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File photo: Dolphin pod iStock