It's an incredibly rare sight, and one that took a tour boat's passengers completely by surprise last week: thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of dolphins, swarming together in a 7-mile stretch of water near San Diego, in video published Sunday of what the ship's captain called a "super mega-pod."


Tourists watched in awe as dolphins swarmed en masse on Thursday, jumping up and down in a feeding frenzy. Capt. Joe Dutra, who works for Hornblower Cruises, told NBC Bay Area on Saturday that it looked like a super-pod of dolphins taken to the next level: a "super mega-pod."

"They were coming from all directions," he said. "You could see them as far as they eye can see. I've seen a lot of stuff out here... But this is the biggest [pod] I've ever seen, ever."

Though dolphins are known to travel in groups, they're usually smaller than 200 at a time. Pods with more than 1,000 dolphins, while rare, are occasionally caught on tape, leading to spectacular footage.

This video was published to YouTube on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.

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