What do dolphins do for fun? They make underwater vortexes, of course.

Diver and dolphin lover Scott Gass was working at Sea World in Orlando, FL, when he noticed something interesting: One of the youngest dolphins, a female named Calypso, had discovered a new game. She had learned to create giant, malleable bubble rings (technically air-injected, torus-shaped vortexes) that she could push around, swim through, pop, and spin like a wheel.

This was an amazing feat, one that Scott and his colleagues call “walking on the moon rare” for dolphins, documented in only a handful of dolphin populations in the world. But for Gass, the most fascinating thing about the bubble rings was that Calypso wasn’t the only dolphin who started blowing bubble rings — adults from across the pod watched the youngster and joined in.

In a talk you just must watch,
Gass gives us the story behind this wonderful dolphin-bubble-creation, with mesmerizing footage of Sea World’s dolphins playing with their homemade bubble vortexes. (It’s super cute. Trust us.) He even provides some deeper meaning, taking a cue from his dolphins to remind us that you’re never too old to learn from the young. Here’s Gass at TEDxOrlando:

(Photos — Top: Simon Griegg (xrr); Middle: Scott Gass; Bottom: Colorado_Al)



these pictures of spem whales were taken by dr. peter g. allinson off the coast of dominica, who says he spends four days to a week trying to photograph the animals. divers only use snorkels when swimming with the whales, so as not to disturb them with air bubbles from scuba tanks.

"when they interact with us they approach us very closely, rolling over again and again, trying to get us to rub their abdomens and bodies," allinson says. “when you start getting close to them you feel nervous, intimidated and then as they interact with you feel intense pleasure. you realise they are intelligent.”

sperm whales have the largest brain of any animal, and dive to depths of three kilometres, making them them the deepest diving mammal. the clicking sound they make is also the loudest sound made by any animal.

(the second photo of a pod of sleeping sperm whales was take by magnus lundgren)