17 Comments

  1. Could this basically be a flintstones-esque, unusual-animal-ability-functioning-as-analogous-human-invention joke? Like the whale is using its blowhole to play birdbath? I would be more confident in this answer if I knew how birdbaths actually worked – are there usually fountains?

  2. My first thought was that the bird thought that the blowhole steam was a tree, but that assumes that what looks somewhat treeish to us also looks that way to birds. I dunno. I’m with Brian.

  3. I was going to say the expression on the bird’s face looked like it was enjoying it, but based on the way the other whale is looking on with amusement, is say it was a prank.

  4. @ carlfink – The water-like appearance of the spouted air effect may be enhanced by “leakage”, or if the whale begins to exhale shortly before breaching the surface of the water, but I’m sure the primary effect is condensation. Air held for many minutes in the whale’s lungs will be warm and very humid, so that as soon as it comes into contact with the comparatively cold air over the ocean’s surface, the moisture in the exhaled air will instantly condense to form fog. The resulting visible cloud probably looks very much like a fountain when viewed from a long distance.
    P.S. Yesterday my daughter and I watched “Finding Nemo“, in which that error is multiply compounded: not only are Dory and Marlin expelled with a fountain of water, the whale’s mouth seems to contain more air than water.

  5. Have you ever seen a bird or a squirrel on a well-kept lawn acting as if he owns the place, and then witness the animal getting sprayed by the lawn sprinklers as they turn on?

    Kind of amusing, and I think that’s what’s happening here. It’s just that this time, it’s whales having fun at the bird’s expense.

  6. I recently installed a fountain – the Savannah Bird Girl from ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’, and never anticipated any bird would use it; deer drinking out of the bowl, maybe, but the fountain part.

    To my surprise a few days ago, a female Cardinal was enjoying what seemed to me to be a sitz bath, sitting on the fountain part, then fluttering about, and coming back for more.

    Hummingbirds cannot go into bird baths, but if you have a mister or a spray, they will greatly enjoy that.

  7. To add to carlfink and Kilby’s comments, there is also a certain amount of what can best be described as whale snot. Spouts look really cool at a distance, but up close they’re pretty much whale sized doggie breath.

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