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Fleeting Wonders: An Influx of Manatees

Over 300 manatees have gathered in Three Sisters Springs to keep warm and hang out together.

Over 300 manatees have gathered in Three Sisters Springs to keep warm and hang out together. (Image: Citrus County, Florida/Facebook)

Every winter, manatees face the same dilemma as the rest of us—how does one keep warm and sheltered and still stay in touch with friends?

Unlike humans, though, manatees don’t have to resort to Snapchatting from inside a blanket cocoon. This past week, over 300 of them met up at Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, Florida, to hang out together in the warm water. 

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Video of manatees outside Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River Florida this morning. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates about 300 manatees were using the spring as a warm water shelter this morning.

Posted by Citrus County, Florida :: The Water Lover’s Florida on Monday, February 8, 2016

According to Bay News 9, the “influx of manatees” began Monday afternoon. The springs have been closed to human swimmers, but visitors are flocking to the boardwalk to watch the gentle giants, who have been happy to see each other: “We’re seeing a lot more cavorting, more manatees greeting each other, a lot more playfulness between manatees,” Ivan Vicente of the US Fish and Wildlife Service told the outlet.

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A PARADE OF MANATEES 1Manatees filing into Three Sisters Springs through the spring-run tonight ahead of freezing overnight temperatures.

Posted by Citrus County, Florida :: The Water Lover’s Florida on Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Manatees need to rest in warm water in order to conserve energy, and are often drawn to natural hot springs and power plant outfalls. Officials expect even more manatees to pile up at Florida hotspots over the course of the week. If you’re local (or adventurous) and want to see some ‘tees, entry to the Three Sisters Springs boardwalk is free this Saturday

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to [email protected].