An inspiring video of dolphins swimming with a US Navy attack submarine was posted to LiveLeak just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. I’ve embedded it down below for your viewing enjoyment, because you’re going to want to see the amazing footage of two dolphins bowriding the waves ahead of the USS Minnesota.
The high definition footage of the first sea trials of the nuclear submarine appear to have been posted by Newport News Shipbuilding itself, one of the contractors on the project. In a world of fakes and hoaxes, it’s easy to be cynical about something like this.
All I can tell you is that I have personally observed Atlantic bottlenose dolphins bowriding, not once, but on many occasions, so I have no reason to believe that the folks filming the USS Minnesota trials had to fake anything here. I do think they were already filming some promotional footage for the project and then got very lucky.
Michael Hunt, a dolphin expert who studied bowriding, summarized the widespread behavior this way:
“Among bottlenose dolphins…bowriding has been documented both pelagically and in bays, channels, and intercoastal waterways, as well as on the bows of ships, small powercraft, and sail boats. Hypotheses attempting to explain it have included play behavior, an energy saving transportation tactic, interactive behavior with humans, and validations of hierarchical positions.”
In layman’s terms, he was saying that dolphins do it in shallow water and in deep ocean, and they are happy to use a variety of all kinds of ships and boats. They might have a serious purpose like saving energy — or they might just be playing around.
I asked a couple of people to look at this video themselves and give me an opinion before I posted it. “A dolphin doesn’t know that it’s a nuclear submarine. It thinks it’s a ship like any other ship,” one man pointed out. “There’s absolutely no reason this video can’t be real.”
Check it out for yourself. I think you’ll enjoy it.
What are your thoughts on this footage of these two dolphins swimming with Navy submarine USS Minnesota?
[dolphin photo by Fine Shine via Shutterstock]