Myths

Do Dolphins Protect Humans from Sharks

Sharks are not as kind as dolphins, but diving with them gives you an unparalleled sense of adventure and thrill. Sharks are naturally conceived as dangerous to humans, and it is true for some shark species, for example, the great white, tiger, and bull sharks. On the other hand, dolphins are considered friendly and loving in nature. However, they do turn wild when provoked.

Sharks are the top predators and have been dominating the ocean world since their existence. It is difficult to imagine a creature as powerful, large, and strong as a shark. Though sharks have a few predators, such as the Orcas, their importance for the healthy blue oceans makes them significant.

Water activities involving sharks have been on the rise, but given the danger, some are afraid too.

With that said, it is also true that sharks are afraid of dolphins in one way or another, and this often makes people wonder do dolphins protect humans from sharks or not. Well, this article is exactly going to talk about this and will explore if it is accurate.

Do dolphins save humans from sharks?

The intelligence and the adaptability of the dolphins make them unique among marine creatures and the ways they interact with humans.  

Media outlets show that a large number of people claim to have been saved from sharks by dolphins or groups of dolphins. You can check out the story covered by The Guardian, where dolphin pods circled impaled surfers for over 30 minutes to fend off aggressive great white sharks.

So, it turns out dolphins do protect humans from sharks. As a matter of fact, dolphins have saved humans on a number of occasions, and not all cases are reported. But why do dolphins do that? Is there any secret behind showing these love traits? Let’s find out.

Why do dolphins protect humans?

There are times when dolphins exhibit behavior similar to that of humans, including affection for other creatures. When you look at female dolphins, it never ceases to amaze how loving motherhood can be, even after their offspring have weaned from breast milk. In their natural habitat, they usually assist sick pod mates in reaching the surface to breathe so that they can recover.

But what makes them save humans and, in particular, from the sharks.

Remember that sharks are not afraid of dolphins when it is alone but only fear the pod, a group of dolphins.

With that said, there are no obvious reasons that can be found suggesting why dolphins protect humans, but only assumptions can be made. Sometimes human-dolphin relationships are symbiotic rather than empathic because the two are helping one another. Dolphins, for example, help fishers find fish or other prey, and in return, they receive a portion of it.

Whatever the case, it is actually good for the people that they are protected from shark attacks.

Having said that, it is hard for some people to believe that sharks are afraid of dolphins, and they have their reasons. Considering the strength, aggressiveness, and power, it really is unbelievable. But, it is a reality that sharks do fear pods of dolphins.

For better understanding, let’s discuss a few points explaining why dolphins have an upper edge over sharks.

Why are sharks afraid of dolphins?

A dolphin is an intelligent creature and is able to take care of itself when threatened. Upon spotting an aggressive shark, they instantaneously attack it with their whole pod, forcing the shark to flee. When indulged in a fight, a shark cannot stand in front of a whole pod.

Aside from the fact that sharks are solitary hunters and dolphins swim together in a group, there are a few other reasons that give dolphins an edge. If you are speculating what can be the reasons, continue to read below, and you’ll find out.

  • Dolphins can maneuver more quickly than cartilage-filled mammals due to their soft skin and flexible joints.
  • In comparison, dolphin tails have a horizontal plane that allows for great agility and quick transitions for quick attacks, whereas shark tails have a vertical plane that limits their upward and downward movement. When in a fight, this factor alone matters a lot.
  • Its snout is made of extremely strong and thick bone, and dolphins use it to hurt sharks internally by piercing their snouts into their soft underbelly.
  • Orcas are one of the few predators of sharks, and they are the largest member of the dolphin family.

So, it is evident that there are multiple reasons that depict sharks are truly afraid of dolphins. You can find out more reasons here.

Conclusion

Ocean incredible creatures like dolphins and sharks make people go “wow” with their surprising characteristics, behaviors, traits, and features. While sharks are considered aggressive and dangerous to humans, dolphins are affectionate, kind, and loving, so much so that people started to believe dolphins protect humans from sharks.

As we have seen, it’s not just the rumors, but it actually happened a number of times where the dolphins encircled the swimmers so that they were saved from the shark attack. So, it turns out you have a friend underwater.

About the author

Yumna Ahmad

An experienced content writer, photographer, and avid reader amazed by the sea world and its creatures. I am letting people become fascinated with the ocean planet through my writings.