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August 10, 2012 6:39 PM   Subscribe

Mark Peters was Albacore hunting off Santa Cruz, with a torpedo-shaped case enclosing a videocamera, and a pod of dolphins showed up. The footage is simply incredible.
posted by lazaruslong (111 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Lucky albacore.
posted by item at 6:43 PM on August 10, 2012


Warning for the squeamish: Eddie Vedder
posted by hal9k at 6:53 PM on August 10, 2012 [25 favorites]


It seemed a little icky to me that they were rhapsodizing over dolphin while tuna were literally spasming in death at their feet, unregarded except for the occasional half-hearted clubbing.
posted by DU at 6:54 PM on August 10, 2012 [23 favorites]


Yeah, the two or three minutes of the dolphins was great, but I could have done without all the tuna clubbing. And bizarre music choices, too.
posted by crunchland at 6:55 PM on August 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


Sometimes you wish dolphins had titanium teeth and smashed that boat along with the spanish guitar to bits.
posted by phaedon at 6:57 PM on August 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Toooootally bizarre music choices.

Tuna are the most beautiful, well-designed fish I've ever seen. Really. Killing them has always seemed an amazing shame to me.

Beautiful, majestic dolphin video, tho.
posted by nevercalm at 6:57 PM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


It seemed a little icky to me that they were rhapsodizing over dolphin while tuna were literally spasming in death at their feet, unregarded except for the occasional half-hearted clubbing.

It's OK, Pacific albacore is certified sustainable.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:58 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Animals in that video, in order of how much I liked them:
  1. Dolphins
  2. Guy's kid
  3. Tuna
  4. People
posted by benito.strauss at 6:59 PM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's OK, Pacific albacore is certified sustainable.
posted by T.D. Strange


You forgot your <sarcasm> tag. Because, you know, 'spasming in death'.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:01 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dolphins Save Tuna
posted by ShutterBun at 7:03 PM on August 10, 2012


[tw: dudebro music]
posted by odinsdream at 7:14 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


On a tangent, is there anything these GoPro cameras cannot do? I plan to eat one soon and record the entire process through my body, out the other end and then off through the sewage system.
posted by greenhornet at 7:14 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's clear what has happened here:

Bottlenose dolphins often feed in association with fishing operations. Dolphins in Texas bays frequently accompany shrimp boats. They feed on fishes that are caught incidentally in trawl nets intended for shrimps (Fertl and Wursig, 1993).(source)

They were obviously thanking us for all the fish.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:16 PM on August 10, 2012 [14 favorites]


Dolphins are pretty well known among serious fishermen for enjoying chasing boats and frolicking around boats.

I was kind of expecting something other than that. I mean, I guess yay fancy camera because a lot of people don't get to see this?

I don't think they stopped catching tuna while the camera was in the water. Unless they were truly unserious about fishing. Which actually, based on that lazy clubbing....
posted by tulip-socks at 7:16 PM on August 10, 2012


The beauty of dolphins, completely ruined by the image of kid clubbing a dying fish. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the part that stayed with me.
posted by davebush at 7:17 PM on August 10, 2012


It's not that fancy of a camera, they're under $300.
posted by ghharr at 7:20 PM on August 10, 2012


Maybe its the drugs, but I think it looks fake.

And it would be fairly easy to get the fake dolphin sequence in and out at the point of all the bubbles.
Here's what caught my eye:
The water seemed to clean. Really clean.
The dolphin motion just seemed weird.
No air bubbles at all coming off those dolphins. Really. None?

But I will say, compression can smooth stuff out and flatten stuff. So like I said, maybe oits the drugs...
posted by brando_calrissian at 7:21 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


My first thought was CG, but I don't know much about that or dolphins or underwater photography, so.
posted by desjardins at 7:23 PM on August 10, 2012


You know, while watching it I had a "that looks fake thought" but it is because we've never seen it. Nobody has ever seen a pod of dolphins chase a camera like that. And the light at mid day coming through that water and illuminating them like that... it's beautiful. It just seems too good to be true.

But then the reality check is if that is fake that is some Pixar level shit and would have cost a cool half million $ to create, easy.
posted by matt_od at 7:26 PM on August 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wait, can I buy fresh tuna off a boat in Santa Cruz?!
posted by Nelson at 7:26 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can tell from the bubbles...
posted by ShutterBun at 7:27 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pacific albacore is certified sustainable

Also sustainable: mercury!
posted by curious nu at 7:28 PM on August 10, 2012


Ok I tend to err on the side of grumpy, so I'm glad that other people noted the weird choice of music. Don't get me wrong, I loved Pearl Jam in middle/high school but I wouldn't use it as a sound track for a moment with nature. Also I kept waiting for the "truly astonishing" moment...it never came.

Is it common within fishing culture to catch a fish and just let it flop around on the boat like that? Why doesn't someone put it out of it's misery? I can understand if it's a huge fish and it's a safety thing, but that isn't a big fish.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:31 PM on August 10, 2012


To those who think it looks fake, is there anything else about this video that gives you the impression that these guys have high production standards, are disciplined or have any notion of quality?
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:33 PM on August 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


If you ever get a chance to go whale watching in Monterrey Bay, DO IT.

We left from Moss Landing (the common whale watching spot). During the course of the trip, 3 grey whales came up for air no more than 10 feet in front of us. Throughout most of the trip, we had a huge number of dolphins following us. They like to surf on the boat's wake, teasing and taunting each other to do tricks. Literally for more than 45 minutes we watched dolphins jump out of the water, occasionally spinning mid-air. There must have been more than 300 dolphins total -- it was remarkable.
posted by spiderskull at 7:36 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


is there anything else about this video that gives you the impression that these guys have high production standards, are disciplined or have any notion of quality?

Well, there was a pretty good lesbian scene.
posted by swift at 7:38 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wasn't impressed with the fishing part, at all. But this was some dude catching an amazing bit of footage with a camera that's cheap enough for most people to own if they wanted. This is the kind of thing that nature photographers would have to go hunting for - and would maybe catch something similar if they were lucky, after a long time of searching for just the right conditions and spending lots of money on a camera and paying a crew to hang about while they waited to find a pod of dolphins. The wonder of modern technology means that any random person can catch and share video like this, in HD, in a home-made underwater rig. That's the astonishing part, to me, not really the dolphins (although they were awesome as well).
posted by gemmy at 7:40 PM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah to be honest I was expecting more and am disappointed in what I just saw. When it did finally arrive the pod was just all over the place, not a good tight formation at all. There were a couple of dolphins who were pretty tight and coordinated but the rest of the pod were not focused, and a lot were straggling, or just doing their own thing. I'm not that familiar with this particular species but I would think they could do better.
posted by Flashman at 7:41 PM on August 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


These GoPros are fun. My son took his with him to his scuba certification final this week. They had some extra time to feed the bluegills.
posted by hal9k at 7:43 PM on August 10, 2012


Showed this to Mr. Psho. His comments:

1. Fake.

2. Really? Clubbing tuna? And not the fun clubbing with ecstasy?

3. Look at 2:07 and 2:10. These dolphins are identical. Very clever, motion blur, no caustics [optics] on the back of the dolphins. Very hard to render.

4. Motion looks fake.

5. 1:59 - right fin of very left dolphin has suspect edge, as if it has been badly composited. Bubbles seem wrong.

TL; DR: identical dolphins, suspicious lighting, wrong bubbles. And they bludgeon tuna.

But the dog in the background of the kid/camera shot is cute.

For the record, I have no dogs or tuna or dolphins in this fight.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 7:50 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


What the hell? they were surrounded by nature, a-skewering it through the gut as an expedient way of getting it into the boat, and then WOW DOLPHINS?

I am guessing they value life forms by the likelihood of them showing up in a trippy airbrushed image on the side of an RV.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 7:52 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh. I can see the complaints about music, or tuna, but fake? Really?
posted by lazaruslong at 7:53 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I felt a bit bad for the tuna but then I figured I probably ate that guy's cousin with a bit of mayo, sea salt and sriracha just last week so who am I to judge.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:01 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


yeah, really.

having access to time travel and cool space ships, LazarusLong, can you help us determine if the dolphin footage is fake?
posted by brando_calrissian at 8:04 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Warning for the squeamish: Eddie Vedder

Fake.


Guys, the half assed clubbing is bad enough, but it's jsut too much to keep shaking my faith in humanity when i come to the comments.

identical dolphins

So they all look the same to you, is that it? Can you tell the difference between two macaques during a couple of second of footage?

ffs, people.
posted by cmoj at 8:06 PM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't study pixels, no. I'm just using Occam to rule out the possibility that the best CGI ever made in the history of human technology has been virally released on some dude's Vimeo page.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:10 PM on August 10, 2012 [19 favorites]


Also, using gaff hooks is illegal in some states because this kills the fish before you can even determine if it is a legal catch. In NYS posession of a gaff hook is illegal. But really, is it any more cruel to gaff and club a tuna than to yank it out of the water by its mouth and let it slowly suffocate.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:16 PM on August 10, 2012


The dolphin bit was great.

But the bit where he tickled that tuna's head with the stick? Fantastic. I've seen teenagers on summer jobs putting more heart into their work. It's a real craft to kill an animal with such apathy and languor, taking indifference to a whole new level of mediocrity. The poor fish probably died of embarrassment.
posted by Jehan at 8:19 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


So it is called "The Blue" and we saw it on the blue. Inception remix please?
posted by 7segment at 8:20 PM on August 10, 2012


looks like CGI lighting to me and the movement is very suspect
posted by nathancaswell at 8:21 PM on August 10, 2012


I thought this was freaking incredible, and I showed the dolphin part to my six-year old.

"That's fake! Isn't it?"

"No. Those are dolphins swimming behind a boat. Pretty cool huh?"

"Dad, that's fake. It's fake, Dad."

So, just lettin' y'all know you skeptics have my six-year old on your side.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:26 PM on August 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


If this is fake what's the angle?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:29 PM on August 10, 2012


Look at the production values of his other videos. He's obviously a CGI master!
posted by smartypantz at 8:32 PM on August 10, 2012


If this is fake what's the angle?

who knows. all I know is I read the thread as it loaded in the background wondering if people were just being grumps and then I clicked play and immediately thought 'that looks fake as shit'

it's not the bubbles at all, the go pro actually does capture stuff super sharp like that, it's the texture of the dolphins, the quality of the light on them and their movement that looks off

But then the reality check is if that is fake that is some Pixar level shit and would have cost a cool half million $ to create, easy.

not really, it would a team of maybe 3 people about 2 weeks to make this and would cost about 15-25 grand, 50k at the absolute most
posted by nathancaswell at 8:37 PM on August 10, 2012


Something about it looks fake to me as well. I'm far from an expert, but something is not right.
posted by vrakatar at 8:38 PM on August 10, 2012


This guy is clearly doing viral marketing for Ecco the Dolphin 2, Wild Boar Hunter for Wii U and Ice Climbing Simulator from the makers of Street Sweeper Simulator 2011.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:39 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus we are a jaded bunch tonight. Do what I done - a few beers, and this is fucking incredible!
posted by Think_Long at 8:39 PM on August 10, 2012


Do what I done. A few glasses of wine -- totally, conclusively fake!
posted by mudpuppie at 8:43 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm glad other people see it as fake too, and are not afraid to call it out. It doesn't even look like especially good CG. I have to give the guy props for trying, but there's something fishy going on.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 8:45 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I call fake too - if you look at the markings on the sides of the dolphins, they're all the same. I don't know much about dolphins, but I would imagine they would have some variability...
posted by deliquescent at 8:45 PM on August 10, 2012


For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:45 PM on August 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


spiderskull: "If you ever get a chance to go whale watching in Monterrey Bay, DO IT."

...Unless you have no sea legs whatsoever. The wife and I went on a whale-watching cruise - from Monterey Bay, no less - for our honeymoon, and as soon as we were a couple hundred yards out to sea, I was praying for death. Despite grams of Dramamine and pulse-thingies on *both* wrists, we both horked so bad that we passed out. Whale breath brought us to, for another round of puking. (Fuck boats.)

That said, cool video. The Pearl Jam song is called "Oceans" so...I guess that's why they picked it?
posted by notsnot at 8:46 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


...And I'm drinking Gin and Tonics, if that adds anything to the data...
posted by deliquescent at 8:46 PM on August 10, 2012


Also not a pixel-wrangler, also think it's fake.

Shouldn't they be darker on the bottom? Does light scatter *that* much in sea water?
posted by Sportbilly at 8:46 PM on August 10, 2012


Great video.
I'm also disappointed by the treatment of the tuna though.
Why can't they just carefully lift them into the boat, place them on a cool pillow, feed them a bunch of barbiturates, then hold their little fins and cry while Ave Maria plays softly in the background? That's how I do it.
posted by Pseudonumb at 8:47 PM on August 10, 2012 [23 favorites]


[...]but there's something fishy going on.

Mammals. Mah-mulls.
posted by nevercalm at 8:49 PM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you want even better underwater scenes with even worse music, this video of the sardine run off of South Africa has dolphins and sharks and birds and whales.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:51 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The people who aren't at least a little put off by the video... well, would you approve of a hunter taking careful aim, remembering his training to honor the life his taking by only taking a clean shot... but then saying, "Eh, fuck it, easier to just plug it any old where and let it bleed out, really."

Because that's what the dude did. Yeah, clubbing a fish is a good way to ensure a clean, quick kill in the same way as you would attempt when hunting. This guy gives it a couple ineffectual clubs, then leaves it thrashing and bleeding out on the floor of the boat because, "Fuck it, looks like I got another on the line! Woooo!!!"

It's not bleeding heart environmentalism, it's a wag of the finger at poor sportsmanship.
posted by gilrain at 8:54 PM on August 10, 2012


It seems dolphins are typically identified via scars in the dorsal fins. If that is the way pro dolphin identifiers do it perhaps they all have the same color patterns but this indicates that.

Some bottlenose dolphins show spots on their bellies or light streaks along their sides. Many populations of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins are ventrally spotted.

Since only some have spots or light streaks there must be some variation.

Dude should have asked them the flip the fuck over to see the spots.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:05 PM on August 10, 2012


Using a club ("muckle" in old schooner speak) on fish is pretty standard practice in a lot of saltwater fishing.

I'm no image expert but I'm not sure I see conclusive reason to disbelieve. If you search YouTube you can find a lot of other dolphin videos, which are not as cool in their camera positioning and POV or sometimes water clarity, but otherwise are not showing dissimilar dolphin behavior. Here's a few examples.
posted by Miko at 9:10 PM on August 10, 2012


Wait, can I buy fresh tuna off a boat in Santa Cruz?!

Yes, but it may have been KILLED BY HUMANS.


As for the video, the general stability of the camera seemed a little suspect to me as did the fact that it was never bumped. But the people suggesting that no one with access to that sort of CGI would wrap it in a video that friggin' bad -- like, still unwatchable muted so just skip ahead to the good part bad -- just about have me convinced.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:11 PM on August 10, 2012


A positively perfect pod of porpoises.
posted by humanfont at 9:11 PM on August 10, 2012


I find this video to be quite believable. This is a small pod of dolphins 10 if I counted right. Because of the movement of the dolphins you most likely do see the same dolphin from multiple angles and yes coloration can be that similar. That said I noticed several individuals with different markings enough to say they were different from each other. Yes the ocean can be that clear. With the sun high overhead you can see objects 50 60 feet away quite easily.
As for the lighting changes the pod was surfing in the wake of the boat light was being diffracted all over the place. The dolphin movements were right for a boat making 5 to 7 knots. They are quite streamlined and their tails incredibly powerful it doesn't take that much effort to make them go. 5 to 7 knots is a slow troll but it would be about the right speed to pull the camera at.

I'm on the not a fake side of this one.
posted by pdxpogo at 9:12 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some more, this one with another GoPro though less well handled. This is GoPro too. This too. And this.

Here's a news story about the event with an interview with the guy, explaining his camera setup a bit.

Yeah, I'm convinced enough that the dolphin behavior is entirely possible and not a reason to discount this video. Only difference is his looks pretty great and went viral.

Sometimes the world really is that beautiful.
posted by Miko at 9:19 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The video isn't fake. Extremely clear in those water conditions, yes, but not fake. The music is a crime.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:20 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


After viewing 20 or so dolphin videos, I can say that on the whole, I find people who make good dolphin videos have atrocious taste in music. Dave Matthews fans, YMMV.
posted by Miko at 9:27 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's not fake. The way you can tell dolphins and other whales apart is by the scars they've accumulated over the years. These dolphins have very different scars... one even has a big scar on the lower beak. I'm actually amazed that anyone thinks this would be possible with cgi... the look and the movement are perfect.

...as did the fact that it was never bumped.

Dolphins don't swim around bumping into crap any more than you do walking...
posted by Huck500 at 9:32 PM on August 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Just FYI, dolphins kill fish for food, too.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:32 PM on August 10, 2012


tylerkaraszewski: Just FYI, dolphins kill fish for food, too.

You don't think people should try to make clean, quick kills? The hunter safety classes I took emphasized that a lot, and so did the grandpa who taught me to fish, but maybe times have changed.
posted by gilrain at 9:35 PM on August 10, 2012


You don't think people should try to make clean, quick kills?

To be honest, I don't really have a strong opinion either way, especially for fish, where the sport is largely about how long they can fight you before they tire enough to be reeled in.

Nature doesn't really seem to care about this particular issue (ever watched a cat hunt?), and predators of all sorts seem indifferent to the emotional state of their prey. If I was being eaten by a shark I wouldn't expect it to go out of its way to kill me quickly, and I shouldn't, as sharks tend to just tear people open and let them bleed to death.

I know a lot of people won't agree.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:42 PM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just FYI, dolphins kill fish for food, too.

Yes, and in fact pods of orcas will attack other whales, including blue whales, and strip hunks of blubber and flesh from their bodies over and over, for hours, until they die a horrible, unimaginably painful death. That doesn't mean that it's ok that this guy decided not to take 10 more seconds and kill that tuna.
posted by Huck500 at 9:43 PM on August 10, 2012


Nature is a pretty bad place to look for morality in general, though. I understand that hunting and fishing can be seen as brutal acts in and of themselves, and thus it may seem silly to put niceties on the actual killing. It may be less common than I thought, but it did shock me a bit when I saw it in the video... perhaps particularly because it was billed as a beautiful moment.

I was taught, and believe, that if you're going to take the life of a creature, you take the life of the creature. You don't maim it and leave it writhing like a discarded toy.
posted by gilrain at 9:47 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


All footage is fake footage.

Yes, even yours.
posted by aramaic at 9:53 PM on August 10, 2012


You don't maim it and leave it writhing like a discarded toy.

That's called commercial fishing. In a setup like that it's best to remove the individuality of the killing and simple allow the particular harvest to expire, later to be transported anonymously into the ship's hold for further processing. Due to the enormous amounts of animals consumed, it would neither make sense nor would it be efficient to offer each individual a quick demise. I would find the application of humane standards towards fishing to be completely out of line with the demands of today.

That being said, it is in fact a beautiful moment where we can observe dolphins in the wild from that angle. They are intelligent mammals and we have an affinity towards them. One can almost say that they have it for us as well. From the perspective of a scuba diver who also enjoys eating fish, my thought is that swimming alongside a pod of dolphins would be a once in a lifetime event. However, catching a tuna to be eaten would be a daily chore. It's probably selfish at this point to point out that only certain animals are considered beautiful while other are just crops waiting to be harvested but that is the nature of our society.

Then again, swimming with sharks is quite the highlight and I cannot understand why anyone would want to kill them.
posted by jsavimbi at 10:12 PM on August 10, 2012


There's a hell of a lot of people here who've never seen dolphins, I take it.

I don't know much about dolphins, but I would imagine they would have some variability...

They look like Pacific white-sided to me, not bottlenose. Dolphins and porpoises are identified by scar patterns and scalloping on the dorsal fin, since they all look really similar to us.

No air bubbles at all coming off those dolphins. Really. None?

The dolphins aren't going fast enough to cavitate.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:48 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


...as did the fact that it was never bumped.
Dolphins don't swim around bumping into crap any more than you do walking...


I meant intentionally. From what little I know of dolphins my impression is that they like to fiddle with stuff.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:53 PM on August 10, 2012


Surprising number of people failing the Voight-Kampff test tonight.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:04 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone who has a problem with the clubbing of tuna and are eaters of bacon and beef, need to get out more in the sunshine of what's happening in slaughterhouses. I'm not a vegetarian.
posted by rmmcclay at 11:06 PM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm prepared to be wrong, but I'm calling fake. If you look at the other underwater dolphin videos linked upthread, you'll notice that they turn way blurrier when you put them underwater. The subject video looks way too crisp for a window made from an off-the-shelf piece of acrylic. That, and something is just off with the motion of the camera and dolphins.
posted by Popular Ethics at 11:15 PM on August 10, 2012


The dolphins aren't going fast enough to cavitate.

I think they were looking for "air bubbles leaking from blowholes" as opposed to cavitation.

I suspect that the "common wisdom" is that air-breathing dolphins ought to leak the occasional bubble as humans do, but I further suspect that their air-hole covers, being much closer to the point of exit, do a much better job than humans, who can still have air pockets in their nasal passages, etc.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:17 PM on August 10, 2012


Anyone who has a problem with the clubbing of tuna and are eaters of bacon and beef, need to get out more in the sunshine of what's happening in slaughterhouses.

We ( I ) don't have a problem with the clubbing of tuna. It's the "club a few times and forget it, while it's still obviously in distress" that brings the problem. And if it's going on in slaughterhouses among pigs and steer, I kinda have a problem with that, too.

I don't want to judge too harshly, since I'm unlikely to change my eating habits unless something REALLY terrible is happening, but I think "please do better" is a reasonable request.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:21 PM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


The video poster's previous entries show him doing pretty much all fishing and hunting. It would be pretty surprising for them to suddenly decide to make a CGI dolphin swimming video, complete with tuna clubbing.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:26 PM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Then again, swimming with sharks is quite the highlight and I cannot understand why anyone would want to kill them.

I don't know about now but deep sea/salt sport fishers used to frequently kill any sharks they'd catch just to reduce competition for big game fish like Marlin, swordfish, other large billfish/sailfish and tuna. (Also, the movie Jaws is apparently directly responsible for a vast majority of the kill-off of sharks, making it an affordable/attractive fishing pastime. Thanks a lot, Spielberg!)

They'd usually land them, club and or shoot them close enough to dead to gut them open and then dump them back in the water. I reckon some sport-fishers might keep the shark if it was particularly edible or record-breaking, but that's not what they were usually fishing for, and there's limited room for catch on a powercruiser-style sportfishing boat.

Anyway, asking for cruelty-free or even cruelty-reduced kills from sportfishers is like asking a supercar owner to not break the speed limit, or asking rain not to be wet.

Sportfishing and fishing in general has never, ever been a model of good behavior about animal cruelty or "clean kills". There's a long, long history in fishing of all kinds that holds the opinion that fish don't really feel pain, that they're too lacking in complicated gray matter to really feel pain as we consider it. This sentiment also included and/or includes marine mammals - imagine how hard and obviously traumatic it is to club a seal, baby or not. Or catching a whale.

For sportfishers the club isn't actually there for a quick, humane kill. Neither is the pistol or shotgun most deep sea fishing boats will carry to dispatch fish larger than a tuna. It's really only there to damage, stun or incapacitate the large fish enough that it's not a threat to humans to bring it on board before they lose the damn thing, while leaving enough undamaged fish for eating or trophy mounting in the case of some bill/sailfish.

And, yeah - not that I'm excusing any of the above - but an un-stunned tuna of a medium size can actually totally beat the crap out of a human. Large fish are spiny and sharp-edged, and some like barracudas have nightmarish teeth that will totally fuck you up. Sharks are generally included in this, but seem to fare less well once landed compared to actual fish.

In deep sea/salt sportfishing there are plenty of true stories about people getting killed or maimed by fish that aren't much larger or heavier than a medium sized dog. A medium-to-large tuna or billfish can spring-jack itself right out of the boat - or deliver a 50+ pound punch right to someone's face, and the fins/spines and dorsal plates on a tuna or other large fish can be razor sharp at various hard points along it's body.

See, the thing is is that fish don't die easily. Especially large ones. They are very simple creatures compared to mammals, but that may actually make the cruelty worse rather than less-worse, simply because their pain response isn't able to be mitigated by the benefits of consciousness or even rudimentary reason or what we mammals would call thought.

You can non-figuratively beat the brains out of a large fish and turn the entire 1/3rd front of the fish's nervous system into a fine paste - and the rest of the fish will keep flopping and moving as the remainder of its nervous system reacts to whatever signals it's still getting from the trauma.

You can even cut steaks off of a large, de-brained and de-spined fish and sometimes hours later they will move and react to the heat of a grill all on their own, locally within the remaining nervous system structure.

There's actually an infamous Chinese dish that involves a live fish that has thin, small cutlets sliced into its flanks but left attached and then quickly fried and served still gasping for air while diners pluck off bits of the living fish.

Fish are weird and tougher than they look. As mammals, we can't really relate to them, but it's pretty obvious they can feel some kind of pain - but it may not be the same kind of conscious psychic pain or trauma we experience.

And if watching a tuna get clubbed is traumatic or outrageous to you (and it is indeed really unpleasant if you have any empathy at all) you really better be totally vegan (I'm not) or know where you food specifically comes from. (I don't, either, and I eat garbage like hot dogs because I'm poor.)

Commercial tuna fishing doesn't take the time to humanely kill tuna, they're brought up by the hundreds and thousands and left to suffocate or freeze to death while alive or even hacked to bits.

Even terrestrial meat or dairy farming is 100 times worse than that one stunned fish. Seriously, if you eat any animal products at all (I do) you're directly responsible for a a vastly larger quantity of animal cruelty than that fish, even including the fact that it was just hauled up from the depths on a steel hook the size of a coat-hook.

And despite all of the above? Despite the fact that I basically avoid commercial seafood whether fresh, canned or frozen?

I would probably go sport-fishing for edible fish if I was invited. Tuna are freakin' incredibly, amazingly delicious, especially when fresh. I regret not knowing how delicious raw or rare-cooked fish could be when I was a kid, and my dad had friends who were sportfishing boat captains who regularly caught large, tasty fish like this. I regret not knowing or appreciating how special it was.
posted by loquacious at 11:58 PM on August 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


It's important to note that GoPro cameras can record in 60fps, which is twice the framerate of TV and nearly triple the framerate of film. The most visible difference of 60fps is a lack of (or lessening of) motion blur, making fast movement look much crisper than what we're used to on a screen. Vimeo converts it to 30fps even if you have a 60fps source, but the lack of motion blur will keep things looking "off" to many observers. All the hubbub around The Hobbit being shown at 48fps is a similar issue.
posted by srkit at 12:04 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


It seems that a lot of you calling this a fake have probably never been in clear ocean water with a diving mask on.

I just wish there was no music so I could have heard the dolphin clicking sounds more easily.
posted by clockworkjoe at 12:24 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, and the dolphins are real. The Pacific is often really that blue and clear, especially off the central CA coast. I'm guessing he rigged his Go-Pro to have the waterproof housing over the lens exposed directly to the water, but a polished bit of acrylic in front of the actual GoPro housing/lens would do as well. The index of refraction for acrylic is nearly identical to water. (And synthesizing that scene would challenge Pixar.)

I've seen white-sided dolphin schooling with boats as small as an open cockpit 20 footer or aluminum skiff like the boat in the video. They'll form (possibly un-natural) pods of 50-100 around larger boats like the high speed ferries to Catalina.

I have a theory about this, and it's that dolphins are smartass punks.

It would likely behoove us to think about them the same way we think about dingos, wolves or coyotes - but with an raw intelligence exceeding apes, perhaps even us if we define "intelligence" as "communication complexity" combined with "pattern recognition" We're talking about a very large-brained predatory mammal that's equipped with a biological sonar and ultrasound device that enabled them to see, hear and orally communicate three-dimensional images of things with what we define only as sounds.

They're pack-hunters, pranksters, bullies and worse. They're even known perverts and inter-species rapists. Some dolphins and porpoises have been observed apparently hunting/killing other marine mammals for sport. Sure, sure, they've been known to "help" humans, but I would wager those are mainly incidents of "Please GTFO of our ocean you lost, silly thing. We're trying to hunt, here, and you're scaring the fish. You're lucky we find you and your meat bitter."

Anyway, my theory is that dolphins are intentionally attracted to human boats for a number of reasons beyond just curiosity or free bait or food.

I think they're also knowingly taking a free ride and surfing the wake of the boat to save energy. Many boats- like ferries - follow known paths and schedules from one shore to another, and shores are where food can be found.

Dolphins are way smarter than dogs, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they used regularly scheduled boats as a transportation system. We're talking about a creature that can intentionally make underwater "smoke rings" or toroids of air and play with them like frisbees. This is an animal who understands what turbulence, wake, current and laminar flow is. They know how to surf.

Even more impressively, some certain kinds of boats magically travel to good hunting grounds. Even more curious, some of these boats speak a crude form of very loud and long distance sonar and remote imagining in the form of electronic fish-finding and depth-sensing instruments. It also wouldn't surprise me if dolphins/porpoises could learn to understand those audible chirps and even interpret the echoes themselves. They're smart enough to hear the reflections of an ultrasonic sound they just heard milliseconds before, and they're already wired for imaging the reflections.

So, yeah. So long and thanks for all the fish, indeed.
posted by loquacious at 12:44 AM on August 11, 2012 [26 favorites]


Of course this is CGI. The hardest part is getting the dolphins to wear those little suits for the motion capture.

Seriously, has generated imagery become so good that many people can't tell any more?
posted by Enron Hubbard at 5:55 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Summary of half the thread: "I don't know much about X, but X doesn't look right to me, so it's fake." You guys should tackle the Zapruder film next.
posted by Mapes at 6:20 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


If you look at the other underwater dolphin videos linked upthread, you'll notice that they turn way blurrier when you put them underwater.

And if you read the article I linked, they discuss how the fishermen use their instruments to identify areas in the ocean with low turbidity, because those areas are where the gamefish like to concentrate. Some (not all) of the other dolphin videos are "blurrier" because the water is less clear and the distance is greater, but those people are also not fishing, they're just out in boats and encounter dolphins.

Seriously, has generated imagery become so good that many people can't tell any more?

IT's also at least half down to how baldly, frighteningly unfamiliar people are with the actual natural world. I didn't start out doubting this, because it's not something that is inconsistent with a lot of experience I've either had or heard about. Say what you will about sport fishing, those guys are actually out on the water, watching the currents and weather, and fascinated and compelled by the marine life they encounter, even if they finally eat some of them.
posted by Miko at 6:33 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's important to note that GoPro cameras can record in 60fps, which is twice the framerate of TV and nearly triple the framerate of film. The most visible difference of 60fps is a lack of (or lessening of) motion blur, making fast movement look much crisper than what we're used to on a screen. Vimeo converts it to 30fps even if you have a 60fps source, but the lack of motion blur will keep things looking "off" to many observers

See, Mapes? We're barking up a real fake tree.
posted by vrakatar at 7:49 AM on August 11, 2012


Metafilter: Yeah to be honest I was expecting more and am disappointed in what I just saw
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 9:27 AM on August 11, 2012


Bottlenose dolphins often feed in association with fishing operations.

Dolphin Assisted Fishing
posted by homunculus at 10:42 AM on August 11, 2012


It's important to note that GoPro cameras can record in 60fps, which is twice the framerate of TV and nearly triple the framerate of film. The most visible difference of 60fps is a lack of (or lessening of) motion blur, making fast movement look much crisper than what we're used to on a screen. Vimeo converts it to 30fps even if you have a 60fps source, but the lack of motion blur will keep things looking "off" to many observers.

Shutter speed (exposure) and framerate are not the same thing. The GoPro has no adjustable aperture, so it controls brightness primarily by adjusting the exposure time (there is also a sensor gain); in low light conditions you'll get more motion blur and in bright conditions you'll get less. All 60fps means is that the maximum exposure is at most 1/60th of a second.
posted by Pyry at 11:34 AM on August 11, 2012


There's a hell of a lot of people here who've never seen dolphins, I take it.

Seriously. If this were going to be a fake film, it seems it would have at least included some dolphin porn.

(On that note, this was not so 'incredible')
posted by Surfurrus at 11:36 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think people have nothing to lose by claiming something's fake with little to cite. If it turns out to be fake, hey, you called it! If it is never proven fake, the issue will never be revisited.
posted by ignignokt at 9:59 PM on August 11, 2012


not really, it would a team of maybe 3 people about 2 weeks to make this and would cost about 15-25 grand, 50k at the absolute most


But... why would someone spend that kind of money, time and labor to this end?


I don`t know much about commercial fishing or dolphins, but I do know a bit about animation and have scooted some pixels about in my time, and to FAKE something like this would be ACTUALLY REALLY HARD ASS WORK AND A WHOLE LOT OF IT TOO.


Now look at the video. Would it really make sense to spend even the fairly paltry *sob* amount of scratch and sweat quoted above to ultimately make a video that has no real story except "OH HEY CHECK IT OUT THERE ARE SOME DOLPHINS OH WOW DOLPHINS" and take the extra time to make sure it looks like the guy who edited it together is barely familiar with Windows Moviemaker?
posted by louche mustachio at 1:12 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Duh! It's a viral video to promote Eddie Vedder.
posted by Think_Long at 8:05 AM on August 12, 2012


"I don't know much about X, but X doesn't look right to me, so it's fake." You guys should tackle the Zapruder film next.

Notice the movement of the pectoral flippers:

Back, and to the left.
Back, and to the left.
Back, and to the left.
Back, and to the left.
posted by ShutterBun at 6:00 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, I thought it looked questionable, but I sure can't point fingers and make accusations. But seriously, I frequently find myself taking photos that actually look fake. I don't yet know what's up with that.

This fakeness though, for me, is primarily based on the tail movement. It looks too simple. A large chunk of meat appears either 'up', or 'down', and I don't see anything in between. I'm not sufficiently familiar with the movements of dolphins though to say that they don't look the same. Just that these look questionable. That and the bubbles looked somehow too perfect, possibly because they never seemed to actually interfere with seeing the dolphins.

I don't own a GoPro. I do own a Contour, which is a direct competitor (generally, most GoPro footage I see looks better than my Contour footage). I couldn't say how the view through the water should look.

The talk about how difficult and expensive it would be to create such a moving image seems to me no more certain than anything else. Maybe so! Maybe not. But I'll go along simply because it seems more likely true than a pointless lie.
posted by Goofyy at 3:31 AM on August 13, 2012


This fakeness though, for me, is primarily based on the tail movement. It looks too simple.

So did you review all the other similar videos?
posted by Miko at 4:47 AM on August 13, 2012




Dolphin Assisted Fishing

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IT'S BEEN FIVE DAYS AND I AM STILL READING THIS AS "DOLPHIN ASSISTED FISTING."
posted by nathancaswell at 4:56 PM on August 16, 2012


So, yeah, fish don't die lovely deaths. Neither do deer that people shoot, or cows that are slaughtered, or cute little lambs, or wee piggies.

20+ year vegetarian, worked at a marina for a while. If you cannot deal with the ugliness involved in feeding yourself, you have no business eating.
posted by nevercalm at 5:01 PM on August 16, 2012


Frankly, I don't care if they're real or cgi. I'm just getting more annoyed at the possibility that this video was a viral ad for the stupid camera.
posted by crunchland at 4:47 AM on August 17, 2012


I thought about that, too, but I don't think so because of the other videos which also mention the camera. People who have this camera are obviously proud of having it and like to name-check it. There are so many videos of this kind that this one being the one to go viral would have been a bad bet.
posted by Miko at 5:15 AM on August 17, 2012


More on is it fake?
posted by Cocodrillo at 11:03 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would suck if it was fake, but I've gotta throw in that I've got a bunch of friends with GoPros, and they never refer to it as "my video camera." They always, always refer to is as a GoPro.

I work in tv, and some shows use GoPros for B-roll. They used to use flipcams. When it was flipcams, they just called them minicam or whatever. Now? From the cameramen to the control room, they allllll say GoPro.

It's crazy, I've never seen anything like it. I shoot still photos, and I would never dream of calling my camera by it's brand name. I refer to it as an SLR or a still camera or whatever.

I hate falling prey to viral videos, but I've gotta say that now I'm wondering if they're paying my friends, too.....
posted by nevercalm at 1:16 PM on August 19, 2012


"GoPro" is just fun to say.
posted by Miko at 2:35 PM on August 19, 2012


I didn't realize how old that video is. I was testing the assertion from that article that searching can't locate any other fishing videos posted by Mark Peters. The thing has been online since at least March, and first it shows up in saltwater fishing fora. If that's viral it's one slow virus. I still expect horses on this one.
posted by Miko at 2:45 PM on August 19, 2012


I shoot still photos, and I would never dream of calling my camera by it's brand name. I refer to it as an SLR or a still camera or whatever.

I have a Hasselblad 6x6 camera and I definately refer to it by it's brand name...
posted by nathancaswell at 2:47 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, there's this
Furthermore, GoPro's marketers consistently deny involvement with videos that viral marketing experts strongly believe they created. Case in point: an allegedly user-generated video posted last summer in which a seagull steals a man's GoPro camera and soars above the coast of France for several minutes, filming the glorious landscape below. The man allegedly found his camera where the seagull dropped it on the wall of a castle and posted the video online with the title "Seagull stole GoPro."

Experts pointed out just how unlikely it would be for a seagull to pick up a camera, aim it downward for a while, then drop it far away only to have it inexplicably found by its owner. The video's explicit mention of GoPro in the title (instead of "camera") also raised red flags. GoPro denied involvement, and the stolen camera's owner also swore the video was real. However, he was interviewed doing so at a Cannes film festival for advertisers, and he has been known to make video ads in the past that use CGI (computer generated imagery).

Here's the MetaFilter discussion of that one.

So, maybe. The fact that this one company has a history of this sort of thing is evidence for manipulation.
posted by Miko at 2:51 PM on August 19, 2012


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