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Dolphin seeks assistance.
January 21, 2013 4:29 AM   Subscribe

A (presumably) wild dolphin entangled by fishing line approaches divers for assistance.

Another heartwarming intervention:
Baby elephant getting rescued from a hole (Warning: Coldplay soundtrack)

Previously: Humpback whale rescued from net

Source: reddit
posted by panaceanot (32 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
The dolphin video music was farking annoying. But, in silence, was lovely to watch. Thank you.
posted by taff at 4:49 AM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Manta Rays are totally freaky and will haunt my dreams tonight.
Dolphins rule, however.
And people suck.
posted by Mezentian at 4:52 AM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah sorry... Should have put a soundtrack warning on the first link too.

Play these videos with a soundtrack of your own.
posted by panaceanot at 4:53 AM on January 21, 2013


I love Rays of all kinds. I had an encounter with an eagle ray, diving in an aquarium. It was fascinating. The ray was timid because I was by the wall he was following. So I moved away from the wall, and he went past. Shortly latter, he decided I was safe, and enjoyed playing in my bubbles over my head for many minutes.

The chance to do a dolphin a favor is really quite a thing. I like to think the dolphin told its friends how nice people can be.
posted by Goofyy at 5:09 AM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like to think the dolphin told its friends how nice people can be.

And none of them believed him. If dolphins had any anthropomorphic understanding of humans, they would stay as far away from them as dolphinly possible.
posted by three blind mice at 5:39 AM on January 21, 2013 [14 favorites]


The baby elephant video was ridiculously heartwrenching. It's too early in the morning to be feeling all of these feels.
posted by chara at 5:45 AM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


This looked so incredibly frustrating. Trying to maneuver yourself, around a moving dolphin, to use a tool to cut a thin and difficult to see material. Urgh. Does anyone know what he was using? I thought he pulled out a dive knife or something which would make me incredibly nervous, but then in another scene it looked like they were clippers of some kind.

Either way I'd be so worried about hurting the thing, and I thought the guy doing the cutting looked a little shaky-handed. I sure as hell would be. It's a shame they couldn't get the hook out.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 5:59 AM on January 21, 2013


Six-or-six-thirty, I believe he had one of these.
posted by scottatdrake at 6:09 AM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


okay, if manta rays are all harmless, why do they have a gaping maw out of my nightmares?
posted by angrycat at 6:25 AM on January 21, 2013


I think it's interesting how the dolphin's behaviour reminds me of seeing crocodiles with their mouths open so birds can clean their teeth, and likewise other creatures visiting with each other for mutual (usually health related) benefit. I'm glad to see evidence that other animals have figured out humanity's one redeeming feature: opposable thumbs.
posted by fight or flight at 6:27 AM on January 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


also, I want that life where I get to drive in a truck going AI YI YI YI YI YI YI at elephants but all in the name of saving a baby elephant that I then get to drive after going AI YI YI YI YI YI until it is reunited with its mother.
posted by angrycat at 6:30 AM on January 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Well, opposable thumbs and XS Scuba Fogcutter X Blunt Tip Scuba Dive Knives.

The whole scene reminds me of the scene in 2012 where the plucky protagonists manage to nearly destroy a significant portion of what's left of the human race by damaging a huge life-ship in an attempt to stow away on board. They then heroically manage to mitigate the damage they did to the point where they're not all going to die and so everyone cheers them.

Not saying that the divers or rangers were the ones to mess this up, but both movies seem to me to be cases where humanity have caused other creatures grief and then heroically managed to offset a small portion of that damage and get cheered for it. The hook's still there. That big hole in the ground is (probably) still there.

posted by YAMWAK at 6:39 AM on January 21, 2013


Last summer in French Polynesia, I swam with a group of ten manta rays and it was probably one of the wildest experiences of my life. They are so, so big and I felt dwarfed just sharing the ocean with them.
posted by lydhre at 6:39 AM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I did a bit of research work with wild dolphins back in college . We were very noninvasive and so my training was always look don't touch. This video was pretty amazing to watch, the resort the divers seemed to show, the hand shaky-ness! I'd be pretty terrified of hurting it too.

So, obligatory dolphin story (really?). I was diving in Turks and Caicos a few years back and there was this dolphin hanging out around the boat pretty much all day (it wasn't Jojo, fwiw). I went on a dive to check her out and found her playing with this shell, picking it up and dropping it, watching it float back down. one of the times she dropped it it got stuck under a coral head and her rostrum couldn't quite get to it to pull it back out. At this point I've wandered pretty close, just fascinated, and she's looking at me all funny. Not wanting to anthropomorphize the dolphin in my researcher brain, of course she wasn't looking at me suspiciously, thinking I was up to no good or anything. I crept closer of course now treating this as a scientific experiment, wondering what her reaction will be, despite every noninvasive bone in my body telling me this is a terrible idea. I eventually get close enough to see the shell and she backs away, still giving me hairy dolphin eyeball, as I reach for the shell and rescue her prized toy from the confines of the coral head. Continuing my underfunded research I put the shell in the palm of my hand and held it out to her...

Of course she didn't take it out of my hand, tho that would have made for a much better story. But she did snatch it up the minute I put it down and backed away. Definite dolphin hairy eyeball then.

Also, a friend and former colleague's thoughts on the video here
posted by danapiper at 6:49 AM on January 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


ALL dolphins deserve free health care for having to put up with humans.
posted by orme at 6:58 AM on January 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


ALL dolphins deserve free health care for having to put up with humans.

Eh, we're rather alike. Clever, occasionally amusing, murderous bastards (just ask a porpoise). Given to the occasional gang-rape or inter-species live-saving adventure. They're much better at bubble blowing, though.
posted by Diablevert at 8:01 AM on January 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


So Long, and Thanks for All the Fishing line removal.
posted by googly at 8:06 AM on January 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


okay, if manta rays are all harmless, why do they have a gaping maw out of my nightmares?

No one said they were harmless to plankton.
posted by eugenen at 8:49 AM on January 21, 2013



Eh, we're rather alike. Clever, occasionally amusing, murderous bastards (just ask a porpoise). Given to the occasional gang-rape or inter-species live-saving adventure. They're much better at bubble blowing, though.


Sure, but we should know better.
posted by YAMWAK at 9:29 AM on January 21, 2013


I wish I had an obligatory dolphin story.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:03 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wonder what dolphins think divers are. Do they think we are some kind of relatively rare underwater creature. Do they think "no wonder there aren't many of those things, they swim like crap. At least they got those lights, those are kinda cool, wish I had a light". Do they know what hands are? Do they think we have two mouths on antennas? Maybe they know we don't really belong in the water. I guess what I am asking is there any way a dolphin could know a diver could remove a fishing line.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:09 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Last time a guy came at me with a knife, it wasn't to remove a fishing line. Dolphins are very trusting. How can we, as a species, take advantage of their naivety?
posted by panboi at 1:51 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I guess what I am asking is there any way a dolphin could know a diver could remove a fishing line.

Probably not as such, but as social animals they do understand the idea of helping and being helped. Individual dolphins may also have learned that humans (like other dolphins) can sometimes help.

It's the same way that Lassie doesn't really come to "explain" to you that little Timmy is stuck in the well, but Lassie does know that Timmy is in distress, and that she can't figure out how to help (or even necessarily why Timmy is in trouble). It's pretty natural behavior for a dog to respond to a problem it doesn't understand by alerting one of its human associates - dogs learn from an early age that humans are good at solving problems.

I don't know that this dolphin would have learned that much about humans, but they have been known to fish cooperatively with humans (by driving fish into nets) in some places so they're clearly capable of learning fairly complicated behavior.
posted by atrazine at 2:58 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


That big hole in the ground is (probably) still there.

You're aware that holes occur naturally ... right?

Basically, humans are fucking up the planet and specific habitats largely by just living. (Ask a polar bear.) It's worthwhile to call attention to every attempt to unfuck stuff.

Anyway, this reminded me of the Netherlands flooding horse rescue [uh, soundtrack by Vangelis, but it works, really; wait for the drop]* and the cop cutting a dog loose. It's times like these that I think of my cat training me to feed him and let him in, and the concept that humans didn't domesticate the wolf, but the other way around.

* I watch this whenever I need a pick-me-up.

I guess what I am asking is there any way a dolphin could know a diver could remove a fishing line.

I dunno, but I do know that dolphins have flocked around human vessels for centuries, perhaps millennia -- and often rescue humans themselves.

but Lassie does know that Timmy is in distress, and that she can't figure out how to help

Consider that this is a level of understanding of which Timmy is probably capable. Dolphins seem capable of some ability in language, and may be comparable to toddlers at least in overall intelligence.
posted by dhartung at 3:04 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah I buy all that.

Also reminds me of a New Yorker cartoon. Timmy falls down a well and yells up to lassie "lassie, get help" the next panel shows lassie laying on a couch in a therapists office.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:12 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sperm Whales Adopt A Dolphin With Spine Deformity.
posted by Mezentian at 5:30 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The hook should rust out, eventually. That was cool to watch.
posted by Chuffy at 5:45 PM on January 21, 2013


The hook should rust out, eventually.

Not if it's a stainless hook - that could be permanent.

Speaking of manta rays, I had a lovely little encounter with one fishing on the pier at Lahaina a few summers ago. I didn't know that the black ones could be the huge size and also the regular 'reef' size. A reef-sized one came cruising on by below me and proceeded to pass back and forth numerous times as if it wanted to play. I think they're super cool.

(I was spincasting and caught absolutely nothing but it's super thrilling to be fishing in a place where you don't really know what you're gonna come up with and occasionally really large weird stuff just cruises by).
posted by jimmythefish at 6:47 PM on January 21, 2013


Wow, that's lovely.
posted by maryrobinette at 7:49 PM on January 21, 2013


This is gorgeous, but damn it, it was just this weekend that I was wondering whether Timmy ever really did fall down a well, so y'all have reminded me to Google it. He didn't.
Other television shows are always making jokes about Timmy being trapped in a well. Which episode was that?

Not to disappoint you—and all the writers who have milked this joke for years—but the answer is "none"! See my note on this joke, as well as the title of Jon Provost's autobiography, after the entry for "Her Master's Voice.")

Actually, the only main character in the Lassie series who fell down a well was Lassie herself, in Season 17's "Well of Love."
If you follow the "my note" link, you'll find that Timmy got into all kinds of implausible trouble, but his Mom once got Lassie to perform the most extraordinary rescue ever. (Scroll down to "The Big Cat".)
posted by maudlin at 8:17 PM on January 21, 2013


Things I have learnt:
There is a Lassie website.
Lassie ran for 19 seasons.
The 'Timmy Fell Down The Well' joke does not come from Skippy: The Bush Kangaroo.
posted by Mezentian at 8:40 PM on January 21, 2013


If dolphins had any anthropomorphic understanding of humans, they would stay as far away from them as dolphinly possible.

We are legend.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:07 PM on January 22, 2013


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