As the sun rose over Australia, a drone flew along the coast. The videographer was looking for sharks but was “gobsmacked” by an “unbelievable” swarm of colorful sea creatures, video shows.
When the drone operator spotted the animals off the coast of Bondi Beach, “I honestly did not know what I was looking at,” he wrote in an Aug. 25 post on the Drone Shark App Facebook page.
The tear-drop shaped swarm looked like a collection of weirdly shaped yellow and green dots, video footage shared on the Drone Shark App’s YouTube shows.
“They look like stars,” one Facebook user commented.
“They looked like a big bunch of flowers,” another wrote.
The videographer had another guess. “Is it jellyfish? What? Look at the colors though,” he said in the video. As the camera moves closer, the yellowish blob seems to split into countless colorful animals.
“They’re rays!” the videographer said. “I’ve never seen that many before together.”
The Drone Shark App identified the animals as cownose rays, according to the Facebook Post.
Cownose stingrays have a distinctive two-lobed head shape and are “usually found in large schools near the surface,” according to the Australian Museum. Although grayish in color, the stingrays can appear yellow-brown when seen from the surface, photos show.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” the videographer said. He estimated the “epic” swarm had over 200 stingrays.
Video shows the countless stingrays swimming and swirling just under the surface. They almost seem to form an arrangement before suddenly shifting again. The group stayed near the rocky coastline for a few minutes before moving out toward the sea, video shows.
“I’m gobsmacked, just in awe,” the videographer said. “That was just unbelievable.”
Drone Shark App was founded by Jason Iggleden to monitor popular Australian surfing areas for sharks, the Guardian reported. The app did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment.
Bondi Beach is a suburb of Sydney.