What Does It Mean To Dream of Dolphins?

6 Min Read | By Nicholas Barber

Last Modified 15 September 2023   First Added 21 July 2022

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

The Meaning Behind Dolphin Dreams

Ever had a dream about splashing around with dolphins? If so, you may have been pondering what it could mean to your waking life. Many different events can lead us to dream about dolphins, a creature regarded as a symbol of enjoyment and social connection in cultures the world over. Dolphins are among the most popular and lovable animals on the planet thanks to their high intelligence, their friendly demeanour and they way they seem to smile at us.

These animals are free spirits of the ocean and represent happiness, virtue, humour, willpower, and courtesy. They also symbolise grace thanks to their sleek form that helps them move effortlessly and gracefully in the water. Indeed, spotting dolphins riding in a ship’s wake has been considered a good omen for thousands of years.

In this article, we take a deep dive into the subject of dolphin dreams and reveal some fascinating theories about what their significance could be.

The Dream:

Snorkeling at the surface of a crystal-clear ocean, you look up and spot a huge dorsal fin zipping towards you through the water. It can only be one thing.

The Jaws theme music strikes up in your mind. Is this the end?

Perhaps not! In a flash, a pod of friendly dolphins appears and starts encircling you protectively. The brave creatures herd you away from the ocean’s most deadly predator.

On reaching the shore, you tumble out of the water, gasping for breath. The heroic dolphins have saved your life and you wave at them in gratitude. Then, in the next instant, you wake up with a jump and reality hits you. It was only a dream. But what could it mean?

Meaning(s) of the Dream:


The meaning of dreams is always situation-specific and relies as much upon the interpretation of the dreamer as any other interpretation. But it helps to know how such things have been understood throughout history. The dolphin, for example, plays many roles in dreams and nearly all of them are highly positive.

Some common interpretations include:

1. Dreaming of swimming with a dolphin

Swimming with dolphins in a dream is highly positive sign with connotations including trust, harmony, protection, re-birth and good luck, according to Dream Dictionary. Dreaming about dolphins symbolises harmony and excitement as dolphins are intelligent mammals and like to play with humans. In general, this dream indicates that your days are usually happy because of your natural optimism or because you have a good relationship. Dreaming of swimming with the dolphins is a sign that your future is bright and full of opportunities. All you need to do is sit back and let good things happen to you.

2. Dreaming about being helped by a dolphin

There have been many reports of dolphins coming to the rescue of humans during times of need and many cultures see them as guides that motivate you to follow and trust their movements. According to Dream Dictionary, dolphins encourage you to trust your intuition and instincts, “Their ability to navigate through dark and murky waters suggests you will be protected during these hard times. During times of darkness or uncertainty we are sometimes saved by unknown forces.”

3. Dreaming about playing with a dolphin

Having this dream can be a signal that you are stressed and need to rest and have some relaxation. Dreaming and Sleeping recommends spending more time with family and friends and doing more of what you enjoy in order to relax.

Swimming with dolphins is a positive sign linked to trust, harmony, protection, rebirth and good luck, according to Dream Dictionary. And because dolphins have a unique ability to see with sound (echolocation) in the murky ocean depths, this dream is said to represent, “inner energies navigating though your unconsciousness coming to the surface (consciousness).”

4. Dreaming of watching dolphins swimming

If you were standing on the shore watching dolphins swimming through the water, this dream might be a reflection of your desire to have their level of freedom, which you don’t yet possess, says My Dream Symbolism. On the other hand, such a dream also has a positive interpretation as a sign that you are set to meet new people and expand your social circle.

Answering the Dream:

When we think of dolphins their intelligence springs to mind. As dolphins are so closely connected with water this dream is said to represent the feminine, emotions, instinctual and intellectual energy. According to Whale Facts, a dolphin appearing in a dream can mean you’ve just made a strong, powerful connection with a new friend or romantic lover. Its experts say dolphin dreams can also signify the improvement and strengthening of a current relationship with someone important in your daily life, such as a partner, family member, or close friend.

As with many dreams that seem to be relics of our evolution, or evidence of some primordial Jungian unconscious, dreams of dolphins can be deeply moving. And while these dreams are as old as time, many of the current variations are modified by our contemporary culture, which provides the frame of reference for the dream’s meaning.

Notable appearances in popular culture:

Dolphins have played a role in human culture for millennia and are sometimes used as symbols, for instance in heraldry. In Greek myths, dolphins were regularly seen as helpers of humankind and coins from ancient Greece have been discovered featuring a man or boy riding on the back of a dolphin.

Indeed, the Ancient Greeks welcomed dolphins; spotting dolphins riding in a ship’s wake was always considered a good omen. In Hindu mythology, the Ganges River Dolphin is associated with Ganga, the deity of the River Ganges. And a species of river dolphin called the Boto which resides in the Amazon river are believed to be shapeshifters, or Encantados, who are capable of having children with human women!

In modern popular culture, dolphins are often depicted as loyal friends and helpers, with many popular movies and TV shows using them as central characters. None more so than the television series Flipper which helped to popularise dolphins in Western society. Flipper was a bottlenose dolphin who understood human commands and always behaved heroically – a kind of seagoing version of Lassie.

We also see dolphin heroism in The Day of the Dolphin which portrays kidnapped dolphins performing a naval military assassination using explosives. This theme was also explored in The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode, Night of the Dolphin, where Lisa frees a dolphin at an aquarium exhibit and unwittingly initiates their plan to overthrow the land-dwellers and live in their place.

For more dream meanings, take a look at what being chased in your dream means, or what dreaming about the end of the world means.

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