Have you ever seen those bright pink dolphins among Barbie’s merchandise and thought, “So stupid, dolphins are not pink.” Well, let me tell you that pink dolphins exist! Susanta Nanda from Indian Forest Service uploaded on Twitter a video with a couple of rare pink dolphins happily swimming in the sea. The mentioned video has gone viral.
The bright pink dolphins already mesmerized over 80 thousand viewers. However, questions arise. Is the video real or edited? We all know that dolphins usually have a greyish-blue color. Yet, pink dolphins do exist, although in a small number. These beautiful creatures are Amazon pink river dolphins. You can find them throughout much of the Amazon and Orinoco river basins in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela, and a few live in Vietnam.
Why Are They Pink?
Although Amazon pink river dolphins are famous for their pink color, they weren’t born this way. The dolphins come to the world grey and slowly turn pink as they age. The pink coloration is a result of scar tissue resulting from rough games or fighting over conquests. Thus, male dolphins are strikingly pinker than their female counterparts. However, the dolphins final color is also influenced by behaviour, capillary placement, diet, and exposure to sunlight.
A Living Myth?
The Amazon pink river dolphin, also known as “boto,” has inspired many South American legends. Interestingly, these stories are not flattering these sweet water creatures at all. One legend claims pink dolphins morph into handsome men known as “boto encantado” to seduce and impregnate women by night. Another story warns people from swimming alone in the river because boto may kidnap them and take them to a magical underwater city. Another superstition claims that if you harm the dolphin, you will have bad luck.
Unfortunately, Amazon pink river dolphins are endangered. IUCN Red List found out that the dolphins’ total population size has decreased 50% or more over a period of 75 years. Let us hope that viral videos and articles spreading knowledge about these fantastic creatures will encourage people to find ways to preserve them.