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Mon Jul 24, 2017, 04:17 PM

'Tail-Standing' Sperm Whales Snooze in Stunning Photo


By Mindy Weisberger, Senior Writer | July 24, 2017 06:12am ET


- click for image -

https://img.purch.com/h/1400/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA5NC8wNjUvb3JpZ2luYWwvU2xlZXBpbmctV2hhbGVzLURPLU5PVC1SRVVTRS5qcGc=


A photographer recently snapped an image showing a group of whales sleeping vertically.
Credit: Franco Banfi/Solent News & Photo Agency


Sleeping dogs lie, but sleeping whales "stand" on their tails? That was the scene recently glimpsed by a diver in the Caribbean, at least, when the photographer encountered a group of sperm whales napping together, all of them suspended tails-down in the water.

Photographer Franco Banfi was free diving underwater diving without a breathing apparatus on Jan. 28 off the coast of Dominica, an island in the Caribbean Sea between Martinique and Guadalupe, when he spied six still and silent sperm whales drifting in their upright postures at a depth of around 65 feet (20 meters).

Researchers first saw this unusual sleep behavior in sperm whales in 2008, describing it in a study published in January of that year in the journal Current Biology. The scientists in that study found that sperm whales dozed in this upright drifting posture for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time, and the whales did not breathe or move at all during their naps, the study authors reported. [Sleep Tight! Snoozing Animals Gallery]

More:
https://www.livescience.com/59910-sleeping-sperm-whales.html?utm_source=notification

14 replies, 10342 views

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply 'Tail-Standing' Sperm Whales Snooze in Stunning Photo (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jul 2017 OP
Thor_MN Jul 2017 #1
bettyellen Jul 2017 #2
Plucketeer Jul 2017 #3
left-of-center2012 Jul 2017 #4
Nitram Jul 2017 #5
Nitram Jul 2017 #6
mr_lebowski Jul 2017 #12
Nitram Jul 2017 #13
lunatica Jul 2017 #7
keithbvadu2 Jul 2017 #8
TEB Jul 2017 #9
lark Jul 2017 #10
Tursiops Jul 2017 #11
Alice11111 Aug 2017 #14

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jul 24, 2017, 04:21 PM

1. Hmmm... Why do I imagine them saying "Ommmmm"?

 

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jul 24, 2017, 04:59 PM

2. HA Mindy is a friend of mine! Great story.

 

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jul 24, 2017, 06:19 PM

3. Enjoy them while we can.

 

They're smarter than we are.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jul 24, 2017, 07:00 PM

4. Photo here :

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 02:33 PM

5. Awesome image. I envy that diver.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 02:34 PM

6. Twenty meters is pretty deep for a free diver taking photos.

The article actually says he dove 15 meters. Still pretty impressive.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 30, 2017, 04:59 PM

12. The diver that found them is the one IN the pic, hence cannot be the one TAKING the pic ;)

It is pretty awesome tho for sure.

And as another said on this thread, pretty sure this happens cause they're a) relaxed and immobile and b) holding their breath

Presumably their lungs are in the forward half of their bodies, causing their (in this pic, 'top') half to be less dense overall than their lower/back half ... so this 'just happens' via the simple physics involved.

Still really cool looking though ...

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #12)

Mon Jul 31, 2017, 08:53 AM

13. I was referring to the photographer, not the person in the photo, who is not

mentioned in the article. The article says the photographer free dove 15 meters to photograph whales at 20 meters. I first thought it said that the photographer dove 20 meters, but that was not the case. Still, a great feat and the photograph of a lifetime.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 07:13 PM

7. Maybe they're actually floating rather than standing

The air in their lung might keep them upright like that.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 08:27 PM

8. Power nap

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 26, 2017, 06:46 PM

9. Thank you for posting this

Very cool interesting

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jul 27, 2017, 03:11 PM

10. Stunning picture.

Thanks!!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jul 28, 2017, 04:36 PM

11. Six of the largest brains on the planet...

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Aug 2, 2017, 04:06 PM

14. Great post! Wowza!

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