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Monday, October 13, 2008

Dolphin Rings

My friend Marcia sent this to me this morning. I find it fascinating and delightful. I think we could all learn something from dolphins about creating our own joy.

The 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 it's an inbred ability.

As if by magic the dolphin does a quick flip of its head and a silver ring appears in front of its pointed beak. The ring is a solid, donut shaped bubble about 2-ft 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 a thousand 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 reasonably few seconds of playtime.


FranIAm said...

Seeing that was so beautiful- it made me weep.

There is so much to life that we do not understand. This is why I try to live in and love the questions (thank you Rilke) and not be so sure-footed in answers.

I love those rings - they are the joyful and mysterious questions, are they not?

VTcrone said...

From the book MEDICINE CARDS by Jamie Sams & David Carson: (Paraphrased)
Dolphin represents Manna, which is the life force. Dolphin speaks to us of the breath of life, the only thing that humans cannot go without for more than a few minutes. Within the breath we encounter the rhythm of energy that all life emits. By changing the rhythmic texture of our breath, we can connect with the Divine, as well as our own personal rhythmns.

Chessie said...

What a wonderful piece. And that poignant music from "Into the Woods" ("You are not Alone", I think) grabs my core, as always.

Thank you for sharing just what I needed tonight!

Anonymous said...

Dolphins appear to be happier than we are, and this thing they can do for making their own hoops is fascinating and fun too! Lucky dolphins!

Oh what we can learn from the other living creatures that live with us on planet earth.