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Old 02-14-2008, 08:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Video: We're not the only mammals to play with fluid dynamics

I'd never seen this before. Amazing.

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/v/TMCf7SNUb-Q[/YOUTUBE]

For an explanation:http://www.earthtrust.org/delrings.html

Quote:
The silver rings, as it turns out, are "air-core vortex rings", and the helices are a similar phenomenon. Invisible, spinning vortices in the water are generated from the tip of a dolphin's dorsal fin when it is moving rapidly and turning. According to Hans: "Being unstable without a boundary nearby, the vortex line tends to form into a more stable form such as a helix. When the dolphins break the line, the ends are drawn together into closed rings. Owing to the Bernoulli effect, 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 long period--on the order of 10 seconds. There also seems to be a separate mechanism for producing small rings, which a dolphin can accomplish by a quick flip of its head.

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Old 02-14-2008, 09:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That's wicked awesome. Kind of makes me jealous
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Fascinating. I always knew we were dumber than dolphins.
Is that like blowing smoke rings?
From "Dolphin Blows Ring Bubbles" on the mini YouTube menu, it appears to be similar.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ha! I do that when I go scuba diving But that's similar to blowing smoke rings...
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I love how the dophin 'injects' more air into the ring @ 13 seconds. Too cool.

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