Tazi Phillips, Global Animal

Earlier this month, beachgoers got a surprise when a pod of 30 dolphins unexpectedly beached themselves on Arraial do Cabo beach near Rio de Janiero. Tourists rushed to their rescue, hauling the mammals by their tails into deeper water. Within a few minutes, all the dolphins safely headed back to sea to the cheers of onlookers. 

Remarkably, Gerd Traue, a German tourist, caught the entire event on video, the footage going viral within days and now with over 3 million views. Although this story has a happy ending, it is one of several unusual occurrences this year. Around 300 beached dolphins were rescued on the shores of Cape Cod this year alone, and hundreds of dead bottlenose dolphins washed ashore on the coast of Peru in February for reasons that still remain a mystery. With no explanation offered on this new stranding event, it’s anyone’s guess why these highly social and intelligent mammals continue to beach themselves. What do you think?