Do you know that song of David Bowie's – Heroes? It goes like this: “I, I wish I could swim/ Like the dolphins/ Like dolphins can swim” and then it goes on and on “I, I will be King/ And you, you will be Queen/ “. It haunted me through my entire late childhood and early adulthood, and probably it will keep in haunting me forever and ever. And let me tell you why: not only because I like Bowie, his songs, or the rhythm and melody of this remarkable song, but also due to the fact that I actually love dolphins!
Dolphins: Our Best Friends
All children like dolphins. Allow me to share my personal memories of my then favorite living creature...
Some interesting facts about dolphins
Dolphin and baby
Yes, dolphins! Dolphins are most wonderful creatures, gifted with intellect and their special way of communicating. Dolphins are part of the Cetacea family of mammals, along with whales, for instance. Just that dolphins are the rather recent 'relatives' of this family and the most numerous so far, as they evolved 10 million years ago, compared to the whales, which evolved around 50 million years ago.
Dolphins have some very developed sense that us, humans, do not. They have incredible eyesight, hearing capabilities and also a specific sense of touch, as there have many nerves right at the surface of their skin registering information that has to do with the tactile sense. Studies show that they also have a sense of taste. However, what they totally lack is the sense of smell.
As I mentioned before, dolphins are mammals – not fish! The word 'dolphin' originates in the Greek 'delphis', related to another Greek word 'Delphus', which means “womb”. One might actually argue that the Ancient Greeks might have known the dolphins as fish with a womb (a characteristic of mammals). Actually, dolphins feed on fish. And they live in the shallow waters around the shore, unlike whales, which prefer the deep waters and the oceans especially.
My childhood memories of dolphins
School of Dolphins
Since they are still more numerous than other members of the same family, one can still see dolphins sometimes in the seas. I considered myself so lucky when, as a child, I could actually see dolphins swimming further away in the same sea as I was, while on summer holidays with my parents. I felt so fortunate! And my love and fascination for these elegant and gentle creatures grew even more. And I expressed my love in any possible way back in those days: I went to aquariums to watch them closely, I have read books, collected photos, watched all possible movies starring dolphins and needless to say Flipper will always be my all time hero! Still, I have never got closer than that.
We could swim with dolphins – at last for one day!
Dolphin in Discovery Cove, Florida
Nowadays there are other ways of getting to know dolphins better from very nearby. What I know now is that kids of nowadays – and adults alike, why not! - have this wonderful opportunity of spending one day swimming with the dolphins. Not in the deep blue sea, to be left pray for other bigger terrifying mammals of the wild waters, but in a controlled and absolutely safe environment that looks like a small encapsulated paradise for both humans and dolphins, as it reproduces exactly the natural habitat for these kings of the seas to feel just like home. This paradise is actually a theme park and anyone can go there to swim and play with the dolphins. Discovery Cove FloridaTix tickets could be my easy way there, to go and meet the dolphins from close. It is a dream of mine that I hope to turn into reality very soon!
What we could learn from dolphins
It has also been discovered that the presence of dolphins does a great deal of good to humans. Have you ever noticed the big smile on children's faces when seeing dolphins? No wonder! They might just feel the great energy that these creatures of the sea are capable of! These harmless creatures not only that have intellect (very different from the human intellect, though), but they also engage in a certain kind of behavior that could be very inspiring for humans. After all, dolphins do stand as symbols of peace and friendship!
There are so many things to be learned from dolphins! Their behavior is totally peaceful and can teach humans a lot about unity and engagement with one's peers. For instance, a pack of dolphins can coordinate perfectly well and act as one. Whenever they feel danger – such as sharks, let's say – they immediately unite and act as a single unit, protecting each other. Therefore, one might actually argue that dolphins lack selfishness and are imbued with what we may call empathy. Empathy might be precisely what makes them such good communicators, as dolphins can easily understand and act accordingly, proving to be very cooperative even in direct interaction with
No wonder Flipper was my hero! After all, Flipper was a dolphin and dolphins could definitely be called heroes of the seas, as they are generally perceived as noble and gentle. Dolphins give this impression that they always have as if a friendly smile to offer! Dolphins are cool.