Using a drone, the Up Stories team recorded a beautiful scene showing dozens of young and adult dolphins swimming in the waters near the area of Theologos in Fthiotida, eastern Thessaly.
Dolphin-spottings in Greece is far from uncommon. In fact, you’re quite likely to come across some if you travel around Greece by boat.
There are four species of dolphins swimming in the Greek seas: The striped dolphin, or “Stenella coeruleoalba,” the smallest dolphin species in the world, many of which live in the Ionian seas, mostly in the Corinthian Gulf; the bottlenose dolphin, or “Tursiops truncates,” Greece’s second most common species living in most of the country’s coastal areas, gathering mostly in the Amvrakikos Gulf;The short-beaked common dolphin or “Delphinus delphis,” which is sadly close to extinction according to the Red Data Book of Threatened Animals of Greece – most of the them live in waters around the Northern Dodecanese islands; and the Risso’s dolphin, or “Grampus griseus,” the rarest of the dolphin species in the Greek seas, living in the northern Sporades islands, southwestern Crete and the Ionian Sea (specifically in the Corinthian Gulf).
You’re also likely to spot dolphins in the Aegean waters around the Cyclades islands, the Saronic Gulf and the Sporades.
Greece’s age-old love for dolphins
Dolphins were revered in Greece since ancient times, as one can see from colorful Minoan murals in the Cretan Palace of Knossos as well as numerous kinds of religious or utilitarian artefacts made throughout the ages around the country, and in ancient Greece killing a dolphin was punishable by death.
The intelligent and intuitive mammal has starred in several Greek mythological tales and has been written about in important works such as Homer’s “Hymn to Apollo” as well as accounts by philosophers such as Plutarch and Aristotle. In his writing titled “Historia Animalium” (The History of Animals) Aristotle made some remarkably progressive observations about dolphins, in writing about their natures (including social and parental behaviors), and noting that dolphins breathe and communicate underwater. He wrote: “The voice of the dolphin in air is like that of the human, in that they can pronounce vowels and combinations of vowels, but have difficulties with the consonants.” Although disputed for millennia later, today scientists have proven that dolphin communication is incredibly sophisticated and advanced.
In another connection to Greece, the word “dolphin” is originally from the ancient Greek word “delphís,” which was related to the Greek delphys or “womb.”