Dolphins in Venice
Dolphins in Venice, Italy Image Credit: Twitter

Pictures and videos of dolphins returning to Venice’s famous canals are going viral as crowds stay away due to coronavirus from the once busy city.

People in Italy are currently under a nation-wide lockdown because of the deadly COVID-19 but one positive thing that has come out of this is how Nature is prospering.

Pictures circulating on social media suggest that the water around Venice is looking much clearer. Recently, images of swans and fish in the water went viral online.

Now, it seems like dolphins have returned to the canals as boat traffic has almost stopped completely.

A Twitter user, @b8taFPS, shared videos of how the waters are looking and wrote: “Venice hasn't seen clear canal water in a very long time. Dolphins showing up too. Nature just hit the reset button on us.”

Many like user @BANGWOOL_PD believe that such news is a much needed relief in difficult times: “Dolphins swimming in Venice's canals is the news we all needed to see today.”

Before the outbreak, the canals were swarming with tourists and heavy boat traffic, and the city was struggling with a large number of people coming in and impacting the environment.

The Venice mayor's office told CNN that while the canals might look clearer than before the lockdown, the water quality hasn't necessarily improved.

"The water now looks clearer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom," a spokesman told CNN.

"It's because there is less [of the] boat traffic that usually brings sediment to the top of the water's surface,” he added.

Nonetheless, the lockdown has had a positive impact on the environment.

"The air, however, is less polluted since there are less vaporetti [public waterbus] and boat traffic than usual because of the restricted movement of residents," the spokesman said.

In China, where the virus was first detected, a sharp decline in pollution and greenhouse gases has been recorded as well.

Social media users are sharing pictures of how decreases in industrial, transportation, and business activity since the coronavirus outbreak has reduced levels of atmospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over the country.