As if there were “bumper cars” driving around on the surface of the sea, hundreds of thousands of female sea turtles were filmed as they gathered off the coast of Costa Rica before reaching the shore to lay their eggs. While sea turtles do this every year at Costa Rica’s Ostional National Wildlife Refuge, this year was believed to be the largest, densest gathering of sea turtles ever recorded.

Biologist Vanessa Bézy has been studying this phenomenon, known as a mass arrival, or arribada in Spanish, for years. As part of her research, she filmed the reptiles, mostly olive ridley sea turtles, aggregating in the ocean before reaching the shore. One lucky day, she recorded, via a drone, a massive gathering of the creatures, leading to video footage that is truly mind-blowing.

Bézy says she’s releasing the footage now because the turtles are increasingly threatened by growing numbers of tourists, who can crowd the beaches at critical times, and, potentially, development. The video helps show just how unique this place is—and that it needs to be protected. Curious to see this phenomenon for yourself? Look no further.

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