While the seas around Hong Kong are normally filled with ferries and boats heading from Hong Kong to Macau, the global pandemic has resulted in a much more quiet environment; which has in tandem led to a nearly 30 percent in sightings of the rare Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins.
“What we have noticed since the ferries have stopped in this area is dolphins we hadn’t seen for four, five, six years are back in the Hong Kong habitat, so it seems very quickly that the dolphins have come back into this waterway,” marine scientist Lindsay Porter said in a report by The Independent.
The Indo-Pacific dolphins had previously seen a “really sad” demise in population, according to Porter, however the latest numbers have offered a glimmer of hope, suggesting that the rare sea mammals may be able to take this opportunity to enjoy the calm waterways and reproduce without worrying about sea traffic.
“Hong Kong dolphins normally live on the edges, they’re stressed, they spend their time eating and resting,” Porter told The Guardian in a statement. “So to see them playing… to see them having a good time, that was really great to see.”
The rare Indo-Pacific dolphins may have been easier to spot than ever before––but what is it about these dolphins that make them look so pretty in pink? Well, according to Hong Kong DolphinWatch, they may not actually be pink hued, but rather, just blushing. “The best theory we've heard is that they're actually white, but they look pink because they're blushing,” Hong Kong DolphinWatch said in a statement on its website. “When they create excess heat from exercise, such as chasing fish, they flush blood to the outer layers of their skin.” This so-called blushing is allegedly what makes these dolphins appear to be pink in color.