This Photographer Captured an Airborne Dolphin

When hurricanes ravage our shores, we often don’t stop to wonder what happens beneath the chaotic waves. We’re a little too worried getting our families out of harms way and hoping our property won’t be too badly damaged. But this Weather Channel photographer accidentally caught how sea creatures are often battered in these intense storms.

During the terrifying wrath of Hurricane Matthew, this Weather Channel photographer was bravely out during the hurricane to take pictures of the storm in Fort Pierce, Florida. Suddenly, the saw something he never expected: a dolphin flying through the air.

Photographer captures dolphin in hurricane winds.People of Lancaster
It almost looks fake in the picture, but it’s confirmed to be a real picture. This is an actual dolphin who was swept up in the strong winds of Hurricane Matthew and brought ashore, which is just horrifying to imagine.

According to People of Lancaster wildlife expert Earl Sneed this is not an uncommon tragedy of hurricanes.

“Dolphins swim away from hurricanes. And when they get closer to shore in shallow water they can be swept away by the winds,” explained Sneed.

Hurricane Matthew, which took the Norther Hemisphere by storm in late September and early October of 2016, was the first Category 5 Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Felix in 2007. It accumulated a death toll of 1,600 people which made it the most deadly hurricane since Hurricane Stan in 2005.

An image of Hurricane Matthew.Vox
One of the most perilous aspects of Hurricane Matthew were the winds, which reached 121 mph in some areas.

Ernie Schwartz of the Weather Channel said that he has “never seen winds so strong that dolphins were blown from the ocean,” which really just goes to show how intense these hurricane winds truly were.

But this poor dolphin wasn’t the only one who got caught up in the winds of Matthew. Later that same day, another photographer caught an airborne dolphin also in Fort Pierce. In total, about a dozen residents of Fort Pierce reported property damage inflicted by dolphins who flew out of the water, colliding with their homes.

Second dolphin in the air.PeopleofLancaster
While this damage of property is a shame, what’s truly sad is what happens to these gentle creatures during times of underwater peril. Scientists have found, beyond swimming away from the eye of the storm, dolphins have some fascinating behavior when a hurricane strikes.

Dolphin numbers have been known to go up after a hurricane, for a very sad reason; female dolphins become more fertile after they lose a calf, so when a baby is lost in a horrible storm, dolphins are able to give birth more easily. This is a sad reason for the increase in dolphin population.

Dolphin giving birth with dolphin helperCLIKATV
Dolphins also tend to get displaced during storms, which after seeing this pictures, makes sense. For instance, after Hurricane Rita in 2005  seven dolphins were pushed into inland areas of Louisiana. They were found in roadside ditches, canals, and pits, having been carried there by the high water. Even though the water quality was very poor, the six of the dolphins survived up to five months until they could be rescued and released back into the Gulf.

We can only hope that these dolphins were able to survive as well, hopefully making their way back to their families.

What do you think of this shocking photos? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.