Swimming with Dolphins in Virtual Reality

Dolphin Project Virtual Reality RYOT

Today RYOT News debuted The Dolphin Project 360, a short virtual reality film that takes you into the ocean for a swim with dolphins off the small Bahamian island of North Bimini.

RYOT News has partnered with Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project to capture these marine mammals in their natural habitat in 360-degree video.

GoPro underwater 360 rig

GoPro underwater 360 rig

The minute-long video brings viewers face-to-face with a pod of dolphins, cheerfully swimming alongside you in virtual reality. The close underwater interaction with the dolphins paired with the immersive 360-degree video brings a fresh way of seeing a family of wild dolphins and a new level of empathy for the marine mammals.

The goal for RYOT is to raise awareness for the intelligent and self-aware nature of dolphins and give viewers the ability to take action with a pledge to NOT buy a ticket to a dolphin show.

“Dolphins don’t belong trapped inside tanks – they belong in the wild,” states the narrator in the video.


We had the pleasure of taking a sneak peak of the experience at EngadgetLive last week. Although short, the video can help add a powerful element to the project messaging.

Molly Swenson, producer and COO of RYOT, shared, “We don’t see VR as a substitute for real experiences, but we do see it as one of the best mediums for turning a passive viewer into an active participant. We hope people will see this video and come to the same conclusion we did: that these animals belong in their natural habitat, not kidnapped and held captive for human amusement.”

What RYOT accomplishes well is making sure that every story that is written or film content piece that is created links to an action that consumers can engage or contribute. RYOT has big plans for virtual reality and is constantly shooting new experiences for important issues around the world. Their full slate of VR films can be found here:

Earlier we wrote on RYOT’s use of immersive journalism to create their virtual reality film, “Nepal Quake Project”, to experience the aftermath of the April 25th Nepal earthquake disaster.

Directed by Lincoln O’Barry & Martha Rogers, Camera Operator Tim Calver, Produced by RYOT and narrated by Ian Somerhalder.

NOTE: While you can enjoy VR on desktop and mobile, for the best viewing experience we recommend watching 360 videos in the YouTube App for Android or iPhone

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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