According to an old legend of Aboriginal Australians, Shark Bay dolphins have a special relationship with humans by a common past.
But if we travel north along the west coast, we come to a very different type of ocean floor. Following the underwater tracks of the manta rays and sea eagles, we enter the warm tropical waters which everyone thinks of as rich in life forms, but which, in reality, hide great surprises, which we are going to discover. Here, in Shark Bay, these strange forms bear the mark of a decisive moment in the history of our planet.
They are called stromatolites, and their structure is the result of enormous groups of cyanobacteria, greenish blue bacteria which, if there is plenty of sunlight, produce oxygen from the water.
This may seem like just one more natural process, but if we consider they have being doing this for 3,500 million years, we will realise that they represent the origin of the evolution of all existing animals. From just water and light, they filled the atmosphere with breathable oxygen. In this area, the cyanobacteria produce a sticky mucous which traps the particles of sand. This structure is then strengthened by calcium carbonate carried in the sea water. But the stromatolites are not the only phenomenon exclusive to Shark Bay.
On the beaches of Monkey Mia there are frequent meetings between two of the most intelligent mammals in the world.
Here, the wild bottle-nosed dolphins are used to contact with humans, and swim close by them. Such is the attraction, that guards are necessary to ensure that people do not frighten the marine visitors.
But this relationship is more than mere curiosity. The Australian Aborigines have traditionally spoken of “dolphin energy”. According to them, they achieve spiritual enlightenment, through telepathic mind-to-mind communication with the cetacean. They call it “The Dream of the Dolphin”. According to this ancient legend, human beings are descended from dolphins, which never forget they are related to man.
What’s certain is that the dolphins come of their own free will, and seem to prefer the company of children to that of adults. People that come to see them say they feel something special, a sense of peace, a strange happiness they can’t explain.
The dolphins even bring their young here, who thus learn to trust humans. But, why do they do it? From a strictly biological point of view, it makes no sense, unless we introduce such unscientific terms as “affinity” or “inter-species friendship”.
All the experiments carried out have demonstrated the evident improvement of people with problems in relating to their surroundings, when they are given therapy sessions with dolphins.
It has been scientifically proven that dolphins have saved the victims of shipwrecks by carrying them to the beach, that they use complex language, and are able to establish close relations with humans.
Perhaps the “Dream of the Dolphin” is much more than a myth. Perhaps, once again, the Australian Aborigines long ago realised a zoological truth which has not yet been discovered.