Flipper or Jaws? You decide.
July 25, 2003 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Dolphin or Shark? It's a question that has been brewing on surf boards (ha!) for months. After much armchair marine biology, the photographer posted the answer on his own site.
posted by mathowie (30 comments total)
All this talking about fish on MeFi lately is making me hungry.

Dolphins and sharks do look alike. Wonder if they taste different.
posted by ginz at 3:12 PM on July 25, 2003

That's without a doubt the first time I've ever read the phrase "armchair marine biology".

Great link, thanks! Who here surfs? I would, but the waves on the Chesapeake are a little low...
posted by GriffX at 3:19 PM on July 25, 2003

I don't know why there was discussion, dolphins ride the waves all the time. Seeing them at Rincon (between Santa Barbara and Ventura, my favorite place to surf) was not unusual, but it is always beautiful.
posted by jonah at 3:26 PM on July 25, 2003

I had encounters like that dozens of times in Southern California. Dolphins surf, and really seem to enjoy it. they are curious and come right up close you. The sharks that are native to the area (most of them, anyway) are rather timid. Unfortunately, last summer when I went whalewatching here in Japan, the dolphins did not approach our boat, as other boats in the area were HUNTING DOLPHINS!
posted by planetkyoto at 3:32 PM on July 25, 2003

Such controversy....

Sure as hell looks like a dolphin, and those arrogant sleek bastards frolic as pictured in every break along the California coast.

'Course, if you're in the water and see anything gray and bulletheaded north of Tomales Bay, get set for a unique and unforgettable momentary scrotal tightening, despite the rarity of shark attacks along the entire coast.

The ironic thing is that coastal pollution is a trillion times more likely to bite a surfer than any of those fun-loving boys in gray suits.

~cue "Mack the Knife"~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 3:34 PM on July 25, 2003

yeah, this is not too uncommon. I grew up surfing in san diego north county (typically at swami's). Sometimes small packs of dolphins would cruise by as we were all waiting for a wave.

Its frightening when it first happens. You have these enormous beasts frolicking around you and at first you suspect you might be seeing a shark. I've played with seals too but (luckily) have had no experience with sharks.
posted by vacapinta at 3:36 PM on July 25, 2003

Because they're cool, dolphins surfing:

posted by jonah at 3:38 PM on July 25, 2003

"Wonder if they taste different."

Never tried dolphin. Here's my favorite recipe for shark. Tastes like a mild tuna.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:41 PM on July 25, 2003

Wow, I love the images of the dolphins surfing, more reason to love the cute little buggers.

I've had numerous people email me that surfing photo - thanks for the update on it's dolphin status.
posted by Salmonberry at 3:59 PM on July 25, 2003

I got this photograph in e-mail a month or so ago. At the time I had to spend some time figuring out why the person who sent it to me thought it was funny. I assumed it was a dolphin and never really thought that it was a shark. First off, the dorsal fin looks very dolphin like. Secondly the wave looks likes Malibu. I could say that the lighting, the wave, and the water color are cues for picking Malibu but I don't really know why the wave has Malibu written all over it. The big clue is that you CAN see our little buddy and that he or she is playing. There are sharks everywhere in the ocean but you will not see them. If you do, then they will not be playfully surfing a wave. If you do see a shark and it is playfully riding a wave, then for god's sake don't drop in.
posted by rdr at 4:02 PM on July 25, 2003

damn jonah, that first photo is wicked.... i can't help thinking that if i we're one of those unfortunate surfers looking at a wave like that coming towards me, i just might roll over and die of a heart attack. reminds me of that one simpsons episode.

i'm frightened.
posted by poopy at 4:04 PM on July 25, 2003

Yeah, yeah, so it's only a dolphin.

We used to think they were only seals, too.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:12 PM on July 25, 2003

Yummmmmm grilled dolphin and pike
posted by geist at 4:35 PM on July 25, 2003

It's a cool photo, but it seemed obviously a dolphin to me.

Re: jonah's photos: Those dolphins seem bent on mayhem.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:36 PM on July 25, 2003

I've surfed the Farralon islands a few times, and I'm always amazed at the number of dolphins that appear when I swim out.
posted by eddydamascene at 4:40 PM on July 25, 2003

heh, I just saw that in an ooold sports illustrated at the gym the other day.
posted by delmoi at 5:09 PM on July 25, 2003

Metafilter: momentary scrotal tightening
posted by reverendX at 5:20 PM on July 25, 2003

Is that like vaginal rejuvenation?
posted by hellinskira at 5:45 PM on July 25, 2003

posted by bwg at 7:08 PM on July 25, 2003

(lol @ bwg)

I knew it was a dolphin by the shape of its tail, but it was fun to entertain the thought that it really was a shark for a moment.
posted by Down10 at 7:29 PM on July 25, 2003

Always check snopes first. The page was most recently updated on July 24, but I could swear I read about the picture there at least a week ago.
posted by yhbc at 7:29 PM on July 25, 2003

A. this is why i love metafilter.
B. this is why i want to move to california
C. this is why i dont swim in naturally occuring water.
posted by sadie01221975 at 7:48 PM on July 25, 2003

"Dolphins and sharks do look alike."

Not really, I guessed it was a dolphin right away, it doesn't look right for a shark
posted by firestorm at 8:19 PM on July 25, 2003

Yay! I was right.

On to my next mission.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:29 PM on July 25, 2003

my friend was trying to convince me it was fake.. heh. what a nub
posted by shadow45 at 10:13 PM on July 25, 2003

Damn, BWG, that was gonna be my line! Pike?
posted by shoepal at 10:51 PM on July 25, 2003

yhbc:, it was posted to snopes' "What's New" page on the 15th.
posted by skryche at 6:08 AM on July 26, 2003

Cool pics, jonah. When I grow up I want to be a dolphin.
posted by Joeforking at 8:12 AM on July 26, 2003

you can tell by the curved dorsal fin and its tail... where i grew up, we lived on a canal near the Gulf of Mexico and there were 3 dolphins always playing in the water at my boat dock in the afternoons. interesting creatures... came back every day at the same time for years.
posted by shadow45 at 10:10 AM on July 26, 2003

« Older Books Go To War   |   Searching for Valerie Plame Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments