This fascinating and enchanting three-minute video of dolphins playing a ring game of their own devising is further evidence that we have only a scant knowledge of the wonders of the animal kingdom.
This video is of dolphins playing with silver colored rings which they have the ability to make under water to play with. It isn’t known how they learn this, or if they’re born with the ability.
As if by magic, the dolphin does a quick flip of its head and a silver ring appears in front of its beak. The ring is a solid, donut-shaped bubble about two feet across, yet it doesn’t rise to the surface of the water. It stands upright in the water like a magic doorway to an unseen dimension. The dolphin then pulls a small silver donut from the larger one. Looking at the twisting ring for one last time, a bite is taken from it, causing the small ring to collapse into thousands of tiny bubbles which head upward towards the water’s surface. After a few moments the dolphin creates another ring to play with. There also seems to be a separate mechanism for producing small rings, which a dolphin can accomplish by a quick flip of its head.
An explanation of how dolphins make these silver rings is that they are “air-core vortex rings.” Invisible, spinning vortices in the water are generated from the tip of a dolphin’s dorsal fin when it is moving rapidly and turning. When dolphins break the line, the ends are drawn together into a closed ring. The higher velocity fluid around the core of the vortex is at a lower pressure than the fluid circulating farther away. Air is injected into the rings via bubbles released from the dolphin’s blowhole. The energy of the water vortex is enough to keep the bubbles from rising for a few seconds of play time.
Click here to read a long, scientific article entitled Bubble Ring Play of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): Implications for Cognition, which appeared in the Journal of Comparative Psychology in 2000.
Click here to read the story that futurist Peter Russell told me about his life-changing swim with dolphins.
Click here to view all my animal-related posts.
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
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