12 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Dolphins

1. You should try to remember the names of people you meet, even if you’ve only known them for a short time.

Dolphins have been known to remember the distinct whistle of another dolphin they shared a tank with up to 20 years ago, even if they only lived together for a few months.

2. Saying your name with bubbles is way cooler than with words.

BBC / bbc.co.uk

Dolphins emit their signature whistle as they approach another pod, leaving behind a stream of bubbles from their blow hole.

3. You should diversify your friend group by looking outside of your species.

Flickr: amerainey / Creative Commons

Bottlenose dolphins have been known to make friends with false killer whales. Their relationships span time and space, with some pairings lasting five years or more and pairs being spotted together at locations 650 miles apart.

4. In addition to having someone to hang out with, you’ll be better protected from predators.

Jim Young / Reuters

That seems to be the reason dolphins and false killer whales stick together.

5. You can achieve more if you work with people rather than compete against them.

Dolphins and humans team up to catch fish in Laguna, Brazil. Everyone’s a winner!

6. It’s always a good idea to throw a huge party.

BBC / bbc.co.uk

In the BBC’s Dolphins: Spy in the Pod a megapod of 3,000 to 5,000 spinner dolphins was seen for the first time. It was a meeting of two already large pods. Dolphins clearly know how to party.

7. You can get so much more done by sleeping with only half your brain at a time.


Humans can’t do this, but dolphins have no trouble keeping half their brain awake. By doing this they can stay active for up to 15 days at a time, staying vigilant against sharks and making sure they come up for air.

8. If you’re trying to impress a date you could do worse than bringing them some flotsam.

Sylvain Cordier/Sylvain Cordier



Boto dolphins wave clumps of grass or branches to attract mates. (Judging by this picture of one they probably need all the help they can get.)

9. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

Dolphins have been seen chewing and passing around a pufferfish, apparently entering a “trancelike state” afterward, leading some to speculate that they were using the pufferfish’s toxin to get high.

Others are skeptical about the narcotic effect of the toxin. Either way, dolphins are not afraid to investigate the unfamiliar.

10. Food tastes better when you take the time to prepare it properly.


After they catch a cuttlefish, dolphins have been seen repeatedly beating the catch against their snout to get rid of its ink, then raking it along the ocean floor to debone it. Then they can eat it without the disgusting ink and annoying bone.

11. No matter how hectic life gets, you should always make time to come up for air.

BBC / bbc.co.uk

Dolphins are mammals, so they have to surface every 15 minutes to breathe. Sometimes they like to show off in the process.

12. It can be handy to look friendly if you want to behave like a jerk.

Behind their apparently sunny disposition dolphins are kind of horrible. Males often coerce females into mating with them, and go as far as killing their babies to make the females ready for another pregnancy.

Yet we still think they’re lovable because of their permanent smile.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/kellyoakes/12-life-lessons-we-can-learn-from-dolphins

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