Dolphin ‘mega pod’ off California coast stuns onlookers, video shows

A huge pod of dolphins "stampeded" along the coast of California on Sunday, thrilling onlookers lucky enough to witness the rare sight with their acrobatics.

Chuck Patterson and his friends were taking their boat out for hydrofoil surfing when the dolphins appeared in the waters off Laguna Beach. The pod began following in their wake and surrounded the vessel. The dolphins swam alongside and leaped out of the water as they raced alongside the boat.

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“Absolutely amazing witnessing this huge pod of young dolphins marching up the coast off Laguna Beach today,” Patterson wrote on Facebook. “Mother Nature’s amazing wonders never disappoint.”

Patterson told Reuters there were likely more than 100 dolphins that raced them up the coast.

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“They seemed super happy, you could really feel the energy," Patterson told the outlet of the mega pod.

While unusual, whale-watchers have reported sightings of mega pods, sometimes called “stampedes,” the Orange County Register reported.

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“Southern California has the greatest density of dolphins per square mile than anywhere on earth,” according to Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point.

Its website says the area holds nearly 450,000 common dolphins, with mega pods numbering up to 10,000.