Washington: An incredible video of 1,000 dolphins stampeding past a California tour boat like a herd of wild horses has gone viral, getting nearly one million views after it was posted on the web.
"The line of dolphins could be seen miles away churning up the water," the tour company, Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari, wrote on the video's YouTube page.
As the dolphins turned and stampeded directly over to the boat off Dana Point in southern California, the passengers cheered in awe, one calling it the "shot of a lifetime".
Despite spending decades at sea, boat captain Dave Anderson told the Los Angeles Times the occurrence this past weekend was "extremely rare".
"It's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen," he said.
He estimated the massive pack of dolphins bounded toward the boat at a speed of 40 km per hour.
Employees on the boat captured the video of the stampede which was edited along with footage apparently shot with underwater cameras mounted on the boat. In the nearly two-minute clip, the dolphins appeared to be whizzing through the water, as if trying to keep up with the spectators.
"I know they're not running away from the boat. It seems like they're responding to something but I just don't know what it is," Anderson said.
Dana Point has the greatest density of oceanic dolphins per square mile than anywhere in the world, the tour company said. Dolphins frequent the area year-round, sometimes in herds numbering upwards of 10,000.
First Published: Friday, January 11, 2013, 15:21