Diving into Dolphin Demeanor: Are They Truly Evil?

Leave a comment / / Updated on: 6th October 2023

evil dolphin
Is the dolphin really evil? | jacquesvandinteren via Getty Images

Sea mammals like dolphins hold a special place in people’s hearts, and they are some of the most loved animals in the world. 

The dolphins’ friendly appearance, graceful movements, cheerful energy, and charming smile are just some of the few things that make them such loved animals. 

By their reputation and appearance you may not know there is a darker side to the cute porpoise that many don’t know. 

Their behavior towards humans, and how they interact with other animals in the wild suggest the dolphins darker side may be something commonly shared amongst these animals. 

With the menacing behavior of dolphins becoming more apparent, many may have asked themselves are dolphins evil? 

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This article will not only cover the questionable ethics of dolphins, but also their behavior in the wild, and how their high intelligence makes their interactions with the world even more unique.

Dolphins fill the sea, and there are around 40 extant species alive today. 

Humans and dolphins are some of the smartest animals, with their brains being very advanced, but both have a tendency to commit acts that make you question their ethics. 

Evil is a hard concept to apply to animals, since the circle of life can be unforgiving, and requires species to prey on weaker animals in order to survive. 

Let’s take a look at if dolphins are evil, and some of the questionable acts they do.

The Beloved Dolphins

evil dolphin
Amazon river dolphin | EriCatarina via Getty Images

Dolphins are not fish, but beloved mammals that live in oceans around the world, with some species like the Amazon river dolphin living in freshwater habitats. 

Like humans dolphins are very social creatures, and live together in groups called pods. 

Pods can range from having 2 to 30 members, and they build deep bonds with the fellow members of their pack which can last for years, or their entire lifetime. 

Looking at dolphins it is easy to fall in love with their cuteness, especially since they have been shown to do things like play catch with each other, blow air rings, and cuddle with their peers. 

Even the sounds these animals make is loved since it sounds like a dog’s chew toy.

The social behaviors of dolphins is what makes them stand out from other animals, since in the wild they interact with each other by hitting, and talking with each other through clicks and whistles. 

evil dolphin
Pod of dolphins swimming in the ocean | EriCatarina via Getty Images

Dolphins use their sounds to communicate with the pod and warn of any incoming threats.

In captivity dolphins have also been able to communicate with humans by asking for food, or learning certain commands.

The friendly aura and the extreme intelligence of dolphins are why they are common performance animals in marine parks like SeaWorld.

Humans love watching dolphins do acrobatic stunts like flip through hoops, or show off their intelligence by solving puzzles.

The reputation of the dolphin has stood strong throughout history, as you can find these animals in things like movies, sports teams, and they even symbolize things like peace and harmony.

Dolphins are the life of the ocean, and being so loved you may wonder about the mischief they have committed to get a title like EVIL. 

Beneath the Surface

evil dolphin
A happy, smiling dolphin | FDS111 via Getty Images

Looking at the dolphin you may think of them as the happiest animal on the planet, but here will take a look at some of their questionable behaviors, and ethics. 

Dolphins overall lack a clean and squeaky reputation and they even managed to find their own method of using drugs. 

While doing drugs is not exactly evil, dolphins harass a puffer fish, and use their neurotoxin  tetrodotoxin to get high.

In the wild dolphins have been observed passing a helpless pufferfish around like a joint, and wasting the fish’s toxin that it uses to defend itself.

Dolphins are also fierce carnivorous predators that eat around 4% to 6 % of their body weight daily.

evil dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin just hunted its prey | grafˆxart8888 via Getty Images

Their large mouths, with 72 to 104 sharp conical teeth allow these sea mammals to grab onto prey, and tear into meat. 

Attacks from wild dolphins are not uncommon, and there have been reports of them biting, and hitting humans that come near them when swimming. 

On average dolphins have a length of 1.7 meteor (5.7 ft.), and weigh around 50 kgs. (110 lbs).

With the ability to travel in the water up to 26 kilometers per hour (16 mph.) dolphins are masters of the sea.

In some cases they have even been seen attempting to drown humans, and drag them in the water, so why is it that they have this darker side?

The Dark Side of Dolphins

A pod of dolphins hunting sardines | atese via Getty Images

You may wonder if the evil acts that dolphins commit are just for defense or if they are acting under stress.

Overall, dolphins attacks on humans are rare, but with other animals they live with, dolphins are reportedly aggressive.

The packs that dolphins hunt in are similar to wolves, and due to their dominance they have very few predators.

Capable of killing some of the deadliest animals in the water like sharks, dolphins are apex predators, and use their advantage in numbers and sharp teeth to kill anything they want.

Dolphins have even been seen going out of their way to kill porpoises, and do not even eat them.

While some may not think dolphins killing other animals is evil since they are enemies in the wild, male dolphins also sometimes kill their young so they have another chance to breed. 

The actions of dolphins indicate they have no respect for life. 

Their playful nature has even translated to using other animals like a baby shark as a toy, tossing them a round like a ball. 

Not only do dolphins have the build to be dominant sea animals, but their behavior with other life is questionable. 

The Notorious History

evil dolphin
Make way for the dolphin, everyone | atese via Getty Images

Dolphins have always been respected creatures due to their mastery of the sea. 

In history these animals captured the allure of sailors, and other travelers of the ocean. 

In Greek mythology dolphins were seen as a positive animal, and  if a dolphin followed a ship sailors believed their ship would reach land safely.

Dolphins were also thought to be benevolent guardians of the sea, and would save people who fell into the water. 

Even today there are countless reports of dolphins saving people from dire situations in the oceans, like from drowning, or getting attacked by sharks. 

evil dolphin
Dolphins roaming the waters | atese via Getty Images

The highly intelligent dolphin knows when humans are in trouble, and can sense distress in the water using their echolocation. 

The controversial past of the dolphin is mainly due to the males, who have been shown to be super aggressive, especially with mating. 

Male dolphins in the wild group up with their peers to steal, and sexually assault fertile females, and are hyper aggressive with mating. 

Even humans that regularly swim with dolphins have reported that they can be sexually aggressive with them. 

Several of the acts that dolphins commit are questionably evil, but that does not mean that all dolphins are capable of villainy, so why is there such mixed accounts about their ethics? 

The Science Behind Dolphin Behavior

evil dolphin
What playful dolphins! | alexxx1981 via Getty Images

In the wild dolphins are very playful, but also aggressive. 

Their behaviors of killing, and sexually assaulting animals in the wild is due inter-sexual competition, and natural conflict. 

Dolphins may kill innocent animals like porpoises since they are in direct competition over food and territory with them. 

Needing an abundance of food like fish, crustaceans, and shrimps, other animals that also eat these things are in direct threat of the dolphin.

Species like the bottlenose dolphin are very territorial, and use their large numbers in groups to communicate with each other and guard their territory. 

Dolphins are also very highly sexual animals, which is why many of the evil acts they commit has to do with mating. 

Like lions or orcas, dolphins kill their young to be able to breed again, due to sexual frustration.

There have been several studies showcasing how intelligent dolphins are, and their brains are capable of advanced thought like communicating, solving problems, recognizing people, and remembering things. 

What are they looking at? | Andrea Izzotti via Getty Images

As very social animals dolphins have conflicts with each other over food and mating, and use methods like vocal communication, or fighting for reconciliation.

Despite having a bad reputation for being aggressive animals today studies suggest that dolphins have a low account of agonistic behavior, and the majority of aggression comes from male and female aggression.

Humans have always had a close relationship with dolphins’ and we have managed to form a symbiotic relationship with them.

Dolphins use fishermen for food, and follow their boats for an easy meal, while sometimes a dolphin may save a human.

Dolphins have one of the largest animal brains, that weighs about 56 ounces (1600 gms).

When comparing brain size to body weight ratios, dolphins brains are larger than animals like chimpanzees, and are only below humans.

Animals with higher intelligence are capable of making more choices, so naturally they may figure out to do things that are not all ethical.

Is it fair to call all dolphins evil, when like humans their behavior is overall good.

The Ethics of Labeling

Hungry dolphin in action | grafxart8888 via Getty Images

Evil is a concept made up by humans, so is it problematic to apply our ethics to the natural world? 

Calling dolphins evil is not entirely correct since many of their actions are as a result of the ruthless environment they live in.

Dolphins killing other animals is required since it is a part of the circle of life, and sexual aggression is not just a trait found in dolphins, but other animals like ducks, chimps, and geese.

Animals with a higher intelligence like dolphins are believed to understand empathy, but being smart also seems to align with committing acts of evil.

The smarter an animal is, the more opportunities for them to act in good, and evil ways. 

It is true that animals are capable of being self aware which was discovered using the mirror test.

Unlike humans it is not known whether dolphins, or other intelligent animals self-awareness extends to their internal thoughts.

It is possible that even when committing evil acts like trying to drown a human, or harassing another animal a dolphin’s brains may not be able to truly reflect on what they did, and understand the consequences.

Conclusions and Contemplations

If dolphins are evil, then there is no doubt that humans are evil also. 

Dolphins are not as innocent as their reputation makes them seem.

Some of the evil that dolphins do in the wild include:

  • Attacking animals without eating them
  • Harassing other animals by using them as play toys
  • Pulling animals into the water and drowning them
  • Stealing and sexually assaulting other dolphins
  • Sexually assaulting humans and other animals
  • Dolphins kill their own young
  • Using puffer fish as drugs

It seems much like humans that dolphins as a species have varying degrees of personalities, with some committing evil acts, and others showing upstanding behavior. 

Environmental factors are a huge component in how animals act. 

With global warming, and the pollution of ocean life is under more stress than ever before. 

Marine life is experiencing a loss in livable habitat, making it harder for them to breed, and have an abundance of food.

Animals like dolphins do not see evil the same way we do, but by anthropomorphising certain animals it makes it easier to understand their behavior. 


Truly it is up to you if dolphins are considered evil animals, since it is only a matter of opinion. 

The world is a harsh place, and due to natural selection some animals must commit horrendous acts in order to survive, and pass on their genes. 

Dolphins and other animals have a very different thinking process when compared with humans.

It is easy to call dolphins evil when we apply human standards, but in the animal kingdom nearly every species has its own act of villainy, or even many that it commits. 

Despite all the bad things that dolphins do they are still one of the sea’s most beloved animals. 

The wondrous sea is one of the most intriguing habitats, and when looking at dolphins we may find many more similarities between us then what was originally believed.

Dolphins may be evil to some, but their cheerfulness, and cuteness is something that cannot be denied. 


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