Turns out, theses dolphins aren't really in on the joke. According to Ric O'Barry, founder of the Dolphin Project and star of the 2009 film "The Cove," staying still like this is something dolphins are frequently coerced to do in captive settings, like while awaiting a command.
"The dolphins in this video are performing an unnatural trained behavior called 'stationing,'" O'Barry told The Dodo. "The dolphins do this for a food reward. All of the dolphin trainers in the video are simply participating in cheesy publicity stunt, at the dolphins' expense."
Two of the dolphins are being held by their tails - hardly a sign of willful participation.
In reality, the truth behind this harmless-seeming clip is just one of many disturbing realities behind dolphin encounter and shows. Facilities offering those experiences, and videos like the one above, often appeal to unknowing animal-lovers, but to them O'Barry offers some strong advice:
"The best thing the general public can do (if they really want to help dolphins) is to ignore the 'Captive Dolphin Mannequin Challenge' and stop buying tickets to dolphin shows."
To sign a pledge not to support dolphin shows, click here You can also make a donation to Dolphin Project to help dolphins around the world.