A lungful of air is like a multifunction toolkit for humpback whales
January 24, 2023 11:07 AM   Subscribe

For Humpbacks, Bubbles Can Be Tools (Doug Perrine, Hakai Magazine, 2022-12-20)
This young female whale approached my boat, then dove and began “drawing” with bubble curtains released in a thin stream from her blowhole. There was no food around and no other whales in sight. She rolled to one side so that she could look upward to admire her handiwork. Was she practicing making bubble structures that could be useful tools on the feeding grounds, or was she just enjoying the visual beauty of the scintillating bubble spirals? Was it art for art’s sake?
Further reading:
posted by Not A Thing (3 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
This is very cool. Thanks for sharing.
posted by Comet Bug at 5:53 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]

Very very cool!
posted by sepviva at 5:04 PM on January 25

This was great. And Hakai always has amazing photos. New desktop background for me.

I went whale watching off Santa Cruz in a little zodiac, which mean we could get pretty close to a pod of humpbacks. The guide told us about the bubble nets but we never got the underwater view. Also I now think the fact that they would surface at almost the same time related to the hunting behavior too.

On the other hand we could witness the sea in motion--in looked like it was boiling. A great experience, even accounting for my seasickness.
posted by mark k at 6:06 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]

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