Mar 09, 2018

The Charm of the Pink Dolphin


Did you know that a species of dolphins is pink in colour and that these pink dolphins can be seen right here, off the coast of Hong Kong?


Most dolphins are black or grey in colour and actually so are pink dolphins when they are born. However, as they grow, this particular species gradually changes to a lighter colour tending towards white. As the skin turns pale, the colour of the blood running through the vessels close to the skin makes the skin take on a pinkish hue giving them their unique colour. It’s quite akin to a human blushing, except all over!


Pink dolphins are found in only two regions of the world, around the Amazon in South America, and in the Indo-Pacific stretch of waters along China and Hong Kong. Their hump backs give them a distinct look.


Male dolphins are usually pinker in shade than their female counterparts, possibly due to their more aggressive nature.



A World of Myths


Mankind’s fascination with the pink dolphin and its charm and mysticism has given rise to numerous myths that surround the creatures. One of them is that pink dolphins morph into handsome men dressed in white during the night and come out of the water to seduce the womenfolk of villages! Another is that these dolphins are shape-shifting creatures that can drag humans swimming in the water to a magical underwater city known as Encante, from where one cannot return to the human realm.


Pink dolphins are also considered sacred by many Indian tribes. In some cases, they are even given the status of a demigod. The shamans (medicine men) of the Amazonian rainforests are also said to learn many medicinal tricks from these dolphins.


Undeniably Intelligent



Of the five species of freshwater dolphin across the world, the pink river dolphin is known to have not only the largest body but the biggest brain as well.


Known to grow up to 9 feet long and weigh up to a staggering 400 pounds over their life span of 30 years, , the pink dolphin’s brain is also unusually large with a capacity, scientists say, equivalent to forty percent higher than that of humans. So the claim that the shamans learn a thing or two from the dolphins may be true after all!



Endangered Species


According to a recent World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimate, only a 1000 dolphins remain in the whole of the Pearl River estuary. A major cause for a decline in their numbers over time is human activity in the area and the pollution in the waters. If immediate steps are not taken, these dolphins too might meet the fate of the Chinese Yantze river dolphin, which is now declared extinct.


See the Pink Dolphin in Hong Kong



When in Hong Kong, take some time off to try and spot the pink dolphin. Lantau Island or Peng Chau are great places for this excursion. The Pearl Harbour Estuary is another popular place you could consider. Extensive cruises are organised at most of these places to spot the dolphins in their natural habitat. Contact Hong Kong Tourism for precise details.




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