Evil Somali Pirates Attacked by Thousands of Dolphins (caveat: possibly totally bogus)

It's Xinhuanet, so take it with a grain of salt. But even if this is phony PRC naval propaganda, the headline and the story are too good not to re-blurb, and here's the "official" Xinhuanet photo, which I can't repost here because they're jerks about re-use.

Thousands of dolphins blocked the suspected Somali pirate ships when they were trying to attack Chinese merchant ships passing the Gulf of Aden, the China Radio International reported on Monday. The Chinese merchant ships escorted by a China's fleet sailed on the Gulf of Aden when they met some suspected pirate ships. Thousands of dolphins suddenly leaped out of water between pirates and merchants when the pirate ships headed for the China's.
Thousands of dolphins block Somali pirates (via @hi_im_monkey)

Photo: "Dolphin Song," from the Flickr photo stream of the wonderful world-adventurer Steve Jurvetson, who could probably vanquish Somali pirates with his bare hands.


  1. “The pirates could only lament their littleness befor the vast number of dolphins.”

    Hmmm…now there’s a subtle metaphor. Written by xinhuanet, did you say?

  2. Straight out of Red Alert 3………. Did the dolphins use their anti-ship sonic disruptors?? lol

  3. “The pirates could only lament their littleness befor the vast number of dolphins.”

    I suppose a super-pod of dolphins may have swam by. Of course they would just dive under any ship crossing them.

    Been paying attention to what China is doing in Africa these days?

  4. Huge pods of dolphins in fact may suddenly erupt around a boat. I have witnessed this myself off the coast of Southern California. It’s absolutely spectacular. They appear in a matter of seconds, hang around for a while, then disappear in a matter of seconds. I suspect these dolphins (if real) were more interested in riding the wake waves of the ship than acting as a de facto marine security force.

  5. Pods are attracted to boat convoys often because of the small fish their propellers stir up and disorient. It’s an easy feeding frenzy.

    Yes, there were sweet sonic attack dolphins in Red Alert 3, but they worked for the US. Damn defectors!!!

  6. NEXT: Somali Pirates employ swimming battle-ready kodiak bears in pirate operations to fend off increased dolphin threat.

  7. whaddaya mean bogus? it is well-known that china has a battalion of long dolphins for precisely this sort of operation.

  8. Don’t forget that for the Chinese, signs from heaven indicate whether those in charge are doing a good job or not. One of the worries of the Sichuan earthquake was that people would take it as a sign that their leaders were no longer in favor. Tying to show that dolphins were protecting Chinese ships would show that heaven favors them.

  9. Wait, didnt it say the Chinese fleet was there as well? So.. the dolphins provide better protection than chinese soldiers?

  10. Let’s see. The dolphins got between the pirates and the ship. In this picture we see the ship in the background, and the dolphins between it and the camera. So the Xinhuanet photog is one of the pirates? Or one of the dolphins?

  11. Yeah, like there are thousands of dolphins left in Chinese waters.

    You’d think if the dolphins were going to pick sides they’d be for the guys who disrupt the steady stream of noisy, polluting ships steaming through their homes.

  12. @20: Druids? No, we’ve got mostly Athiests, and a Salvation Army Christian. :D

    More seriously, if I told them that a DRUID sent an army of bears to attack the platinum mine, they’d be perfectly happy. Having an army of bears on the platinum mine’s random encounter table on the other hand…

  13. Awesome, but possibly making light of something nastier than you think.

    There is a possibility that the ‘evil’ Somali pirates are retaliating for the practice of foreign ships dumping toxic waste off its failed-state lawless shores, and cleaning out oil tanks there. This is killing the marine life, and endangering the livelihoods of many Somalis.

    This is one of many references to what I am talking about http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article418665.ece

  14. Why would the dolphins help the country that drove their cousins, the Yangtze River Dolphins, to extinction? Maybe they were blackmailed. “Protect our ships or you are next!”

  15. And then the Chinese fishing boat captured all of the dolphins and ate them on the spot. The end.

  16. @26

    shame on the topic dumpers, and shame on the pirates for kidnapping innocent folks and holding them for million dollar ransom.

    unfortunately for them, when they chose to stick guns in people’s faces and demand money to not kill them, the forfeit any righteousness they ever had. imo, they forfeit their lives.

  17. The Chinese heard that the US was using Seals to fight the pirates so they came up with a story that they were being protested by dolphins?

  18. how about that sniper execution huh? Do they have motion compensating sights they aren’t telling us about?

  19. oh goody, next there’ll be flying drone ‘bots with smart bullet rifles. I’m pretty suspicious about those pirate killed. I don’t care how good they are, three perfect shots in those conditions? There’s either hidden tech or the report isn’t mentioning the three hundred other rounds that missed.

  20. One might question the use of the term “Evil Somali pirates” upon listening to Mohamed Abshir Waldo’s interview on today’s DemocracyNow.org … who is really evil here?

  21. Takuan.You’re about 3500 miles off base.Piranahs are indigenous to South America principally the Amazon and tributaries.Up here in “The Other Eden” we have the Northern pike or Garfish,both have impressive dentures but not the ferocity of the piranah.

  22. @2 Certainly, because we all know that the Chinese, Americans, Norse, are such righteous stalwart protectors of our ocean friends.

    It wasn’t a funny joke 10 seasons ago on the Simpsons either.

  23. Tak,

    if you’re still reading this thread:


    “The bobbing of the lifeboat would have been a factor, but snipers regularly shoot at moving targets from moving vehicles. (Advanced Navy SEAL training includes target practice from helicopters.)”

  24. are these the same somali pirates that have been attacked since mid-90’s by medical waste ships dumping off the coast, or the large fish trawlers(sp?) depleting the local food source?

  25. Frogmarch: what they don’t tell you is that the moving targets are in the moving vehicle with the sniper. It’s the worst roadtrip ever.

  26. If you ask me, the dolphins were actually protecting the little pirate boats from the escorts. Those little pirate boats would be out-gunned by the smallest navy ship.

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