Courtland Mozer was born to parents Angeline and Dan back in February 2016. But something happened before the little boy’s arrival that thrust him into the social media spotlight. And it all started on a Florida beach when his dad spotted a fin in the water.
At around the time that Courtland became a star, however, Angeline was heavily pregnant. In fact, at nine months down the line, she was nearly ready to pop. And she and her husband, Dan, already knew the gender of their child: apparently, they were expecting a boy in the coming days or weeks.
Not long before the little one arrived, though, the couple headed down to the beach for a stroll. In particular, they thought that it would be a nice opportunity to take some photographs of Angeline and her bump on the shore, as a memento of the pregnancy.
In fact, Angeline and Dan had tried to stage a similar maternity photo shoot the week previously; when it had begun to rain, however, they had decided to postpone the session. Still, the weather was on their side on that fine Saturday, and they chose a stretch of sand in Atlantic Beach as the perfect backdrop.
So Angeline, who worked as a human resources manager, posed on the beach wearing a full-length striped dress that showed off her baby bump. Meanwhile, Dan snapped away with the camera, perhaps making sure that he got his wife at the best angle in the process.
In the middle of the photo shoot, though, the couple could hear someone nearby shouting that there was something in the water. As a result, Angeline and Dan learned that there were dolphins not far from the shore.
“We could see [the dolphins’] dorsal fins,” Dan, who worked in finance, told Yahoo in 2016. Then, as the pair continued with their maternity shoot, something amazing happened. Indeed, what occurred next would produce arguably one of the best photobombs that the internet has ever seen.
As Dan was photographing his wife, he decided to set his camera to “burst” mode. In particular, he was hoping that he might be lucky enough to capture a dolphin in the background of one of the images. What happened next may have blown the dad-to-be’s expectations out of the water, though.
And, yes, Dan was indeed lucky enough to get a shot of a dolphin in one of his photographs. But he didn’t just capture a fin poking out of the waves: he snapped a whole dolphin jumping gracefully out of the water behind his wife.
When he realized how incredible his image was, though, Dan was totally stunned. “When I took [the photo], I was like, ‘Oh, my God!’” he told Yahoo. Unfortunately, however, his wife had been completely unaware of the amazing scene unfolding behind her.
Furthermore, the dolphin in question didn’t jump out of the water once. It had actually leapt out of the waves a couple of times, and Dan had managed to capture it on camera on both occasions. He decided, though, that he “liked the first jump picture the best.”
And the couple were so pleased with the photobomb that they decided to share the image with local news station WJXT. WJXT would subsequently post the snap on its Instagram page, along with a caption describing the photograph as “a once-in-a-lifetime shot.”
From that moment on, the image became famous. The Instagram community went wild for the picture, in fact, giving it over 9,000 likes on the social media platform. People couldn’t get over the incredible timing of the photograph in particular, and they praised Dan for his skills.
One Instagram user commented, for example, “Great pic, couldn’t happen again if you tried. Congrats to you both.” Another individual couldn’t help but read further into the shot. “You can tell your child that the dolphin is celebrating their coming birth, which may actually be true!” they wrote.
What’s more, one person even suggested that there was “a little divine intervention going on” in the photo. Other Instagram users were considerably more cynical, however. “I feel that this is too close to the shoreline for a dolphin to be jumping,” one commented.
And the couple were outright accused of tampering with the image, too. First, one critic doubted that a dolphin would be able to jump so high above the water at such a shallow depth. They then added, “Ahhh. The magic of Photoshop!”
Whether the photo was Photoshopped or not, though, there’s no doubt that it’s a truly striking image that got people talking. Some of those who saw the shot even proposed that the couple name their son in honor of the event. But Angeline and Dan were not so keen on some of the suggestions raised as to their baby’s moniker.
In particular, “Dolph Finn” was vetoed by Dan. The couple did choose another funny nickname for their son, however. Speaking to local news station Fox 35 WOFL, the expectant dad said that they would call their little boy “Aquaman” in the future, as a reference to the wonderful photobomb.
Then, shortly after the image was taken, Angeline gave birth to the couple’s baby boy. Little Courtland Thomas Mozer came itno the world on February 3, 2016 – although naturally he had no idea about the social media sensation he had already become.
Whether or not his parents do actually nickname him “Aquaman” remains to be seen, although one Facebook user was concerned that such a moniker would give the little boy a rough ride at school. One thing’s for sure, though: Courtland will always have a very unique story to tell at dinner parties in the future.