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Diver shares video of animals leading them to 'sad' discovery floating in ocean: 'These dolphins were trying to tell me something'

"They said clean up your mess."

"They said clean up your mess."

Photo Credit: TikTok

An astounding interaction with dolphins left an experienced diver with the impression that the creatures had directed her to a nearby hazard.

Mermaid.kayleigh (@mermaid.kayleigh) shared a video of the encounter with her 2.2 million TikTok followers, saying: "Sadly, I hardly go into the ocean without seeing some trace of mankind."

@mermaid.kayleigh Marine debris can get the attention & interest of wildlife & cause damage to these animals. Marine debris, especially nets or ropes, can easily cause entanglements. Wildlife may sometimes even ingest trash found in the ocean causing blockages & lead to de@th. I was so glad that I was able to spot this debris with the help of some dol-friends to remove it from the ocean. Im not sure why this dolphin hung around the boat watching me hand the trash up to @camgrantphoto @KaimanaOceanSafari but I know their intelligence is far beyond what we can fully comprehend & I wouldnt be surprised if it knew what we were doing. 💙🗑️🌊 #marinedebris #dolphin #ocean #cleanuptheocean #roughtoothdolphin #oceanicwhitetip ♬ F. Down - Undoing & 空の

"I felt like these dolphins were trying to tell me something, and you're not going to believe what it was," Kayleigh said. "They came up to me, and one was super chatty, so I just listened and watched where they went. I noticed that they started swimming toward something floating at the surface."

Kayleigh followed, and the three mammals soon rose vertically toward the surface, acting as one as they pointed their snouts toward a floating mass. As she neared, an oceanic whitetip shark approached. Kayleigh used her fins and camera as a barrier, and the shark swam away. She grabbed a handful of ropes or netting and went to dispose of it.

"The dolphin followed me back to the boat, making sure I was getting rid of this marine debris," she said. "I gave a little wave goodbye and showed the dolphin I no longer had the marine debris with me. I think this dolphin was super grateful because then it buzzed right past me, maybe saying, 'Thank you.'"

For those who doubt the dolphins' intent, this is not the first documented episode of dolphins seeking assistance. A couple of anglers filmed one dolphin seemingly asking them to untangle another, and a wild dolphin looked to divers to free it from a hook and fishing line.

Mylar and even supposedly biodegradable latex balloons, plastic crates, and other trash pose significant threats to dolphins and other marine life. Entanglements can lead to drowning, starvation, and physical trauma. Fishing line is particularly problematic and should be recycled or cut into 1-inch pieces before being discarded.

"How amazing," one commenter wrote. "They said clean up your mess."

Another said: "Why did this make me emotional. The fact that they know that the rope is dangerous and a human result."

"It's so sad that even animals are aware of contamination impact," someone else added.

"I mean, imagine people walking in our homes and throwing trash everywhere," one TikToker said. "We'd be very upset! (to put it lightly) We're destroying their, and their [welfare], and they can't do anything about it. It's heart wrenching!!"

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