Dolphins Are The True Lords of the Rings

Sure it sounds cute, but you’ve got to see it for yourself, because the bubbles these critters are playing with aren’t your garden variety bubbles. These perfectly spherical vortices of underwater air are also known as bubble rings or toroidal bubbles. What’s even more fascinating is that whales and dolphins use them for both business and pleasure. Humpback whales strategically aim these rings of bubbles at schools of fish, which then act as a kind of net for trapping a delicious bait ball. Dolphins, not surprisingly, see the lighter side of blowing cool bubbles and proceed to play with them, as you can see in this pretty funny video.

 

Source: “Extraordinary Toroidal Vortices” uploaded by Evasius on YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHyTOcfF99o

The laws of physics that govern the generation and motion of these rings are the same that govern “smoke rings,” which may have been your teenage party trick, but are actually a serious hobby of active volcanoes and nuclear bombs. This video shows that, too… but, watch it to the end because the last segment is “ooh, aah!” inspiring.

Author: Thea Beckman

Domain Eukarya, kingdom Animalia (Metazoa), phylum Chordata, class Mammalia, order Primates, family Hominidae, genus Homo, species Homo sapiens, subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens... essentially. I have a Master's Degree in Atmospheric science, which doesn't entitle me to be generous with my opinion, but my sense of self importance does! I love writing, I love science, I love reading, but I'm not nuts about long walks on the beach. Short to medium walks are preferable. This is my blog and I have something important to say: https://whybecausescience.wordpress.com/

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