I know dolphin echolocation is powerful but I’ll never forget when I had the opportunity to experience just how much they can actually “see!” I was swimming with a friend off of a boat in the Indian Ocean when a pod of maybe 10-15 bottlenose dolphins swam by. My friend had recently discovered that she was pregnant but I didn’t know that yet. The dolphins sure did though! One of the larger females in the group swam right up to us, maybe a foot or two away, clicking the whole time and looking very distinctly at my friend’s stomach.
The other dolphins in the pod were very vocal and eventually a second one came over to get a closer “look.” Almost all of the adults in the pod took turns swimming around us, all clicking furiously. You could almost feel all of the vibration in the water – it was intense.
The most amazing part was when the first large female circled back around with a young calf and seemed to show it what everyone else was “looking” at! My friend was crying and laughing and it was all she could to share her good news with me. It’s probably not how she planned to tell people but it seems like the dolphins just had other ideas!