Watch dolphin sail through the air as it tries overtaking fishing boat off Australia

Facebook video screengrab

An overexcited dolphin is being cheered on social media after video showed it sailing through the air like a basketball off the coast of Australia.

The 15-second clip was shared Jan. 16 on Facebook by professional angler and blogger “Trapman Bermagui” (Jason Moyce), who attributed the video to a buddy who was fishing off Batemans Bay in New South Wales.

It shows the anglers were watching dolphins off port side when one burst from water, matched the height of the boat, then crashed back into the ocean. The boaters can be heard bursting into cheers.

“I’ve seen it many times, but to get it on film is quite hard,” Moyce wrote. “A dolphin doing crazy air.”

The video has been viewed 24,000 times and gotten hundreds of reactions and comments, including some lauding the dolphin’s acrobatic skills.

“Happy dolphin! I wonder why?” one commenter wrote.

“Might have a mako (shark) on it’s tail,” another said.

It’s assumed the dolphin was playing, but researchers have yet to settle on the reason dolphins engage in “aerial behaviors.”

“Some believe that dolphins jump while traveling to save energy as going through the air consume less energy than going through the water. Some others believe that jumping is to get a better view of distant things in the water, mainly prey,” reports. “Other explanations suggest that dolphins use jumping to communicate either with a mate or with another pod as they can hear and interpret the splashes.”

It’s possible the dolphin was challenging the anglers to a race. A study published out of New Zealand reports vertical jumps were seen before combative “interactions and seemed to relate to displays.”

Batemans Bay has a reputation for hosting whale watching and acrobatic dolphins, with multiple videos on YouTube showing dolphins interacting with boaters and kayakers.

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