bubble rings
February 26, 2006 9:38 PM   Subscribe

Bubble Rings are like smoke rings, except they exist under water, and they are made of pure, clean air instead of smoke. Though normally seen in dolphins, here's a video of a beluga whale blowing a bubble in a Japanese aquarium. Nice, but is it culture?
posted by dhruva (12 comments total)
I've done these primitively myself, just using my mouth and lying on the bottom of a pool on my back with my nose plugged. I was shocked at how smooth they can get them with their little bubble-making doohickey.
posted by zekinskia at 10:03 PM on February 26, 2006

Hey, you use the tools (and toys) you've got. Here are some underwater shots of humpback whale bubble displays.

Perhaps it's been trained to do it, but I love the beluga's "Whoopee!" reaction after its bubble ring breaks up on the glass. In the 1996 PBS video Dolphins with Robin Williams, he and others dive with wild dolphins. In one scene, a snorkeler lies on his back on the sandy bottom about 20 feet down, blowing bubble rings while a very curious dolphin watches. Like a puppy, the dolphin follows the expanding ring all the way up to the surface, then immediately swims back down to wait for the diver's next ring: Do it again!

Why should cetaceans have all the fun? Much to the relief of cats, Wham-O's Air Blaster is no longer made, but you can still get an Airzooka or Zero Blaster.
posted by cenoxo at 12:30 AM on February 27, 2006

OMG now I know where they got Bubble Bobble from!
posted by redteam at 2:00 AM on February 27, 2006

Mmmm, Beluga. That's good caviar!

Seriously, that's pretty cool how it blows those rings right at the kids.
posted by OmieWise at 6:27 AM on February 27, 2006

Yeah, they showed us how to do this in scuba class. Pretty cool that the other animals do it, too.
posted by blendor at 7:47 AM on February 27, 2006

So, is this one of those restaurants where you can point out the one you want, and they bring it to your table live and kill it and cook it right there?

I think the bubble rings are Cetacean for "no, really, I'm as human as you are if not more, don't eat me ..."
posted by hank at 7:52 AM on February 27, 2006

I am all for Dolphins becoming smarter and smarter.
posted by riffola at 9:39 AM on February 27, 2006

Neat stuff, dhruva. One of the many odd little tidbits of information I probably would not know without Mefi.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:09 AM on February 27, 2006

Different kind of beluga, OmnieWise.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 11:44 AM on February 27, 2006

Actually, I knew that, since I knew that the caviar was from sturgeon. But 1) I forgot about that part in service of 2) my lame joke.
posted by OmieWise at 11:50 AM on February 27, 2006

the physics of these bubble rings are great. they expand in diameter rapidly when approaching very close to the surface. and the double rings are attracted to one another even when several inches apart.
posted by 3.2.3 at 1:48 PM on February 27, 2006

Sorry OmnieWise - I strongly suspected that you knew the distinction and was just riffing, hence the silly second link instead of something like this.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 6:01 PM on February 27, 2006

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