If you’ve ever been whale watching, you may have witnessed them breaching. This happens when a whale projects itself out of the water, revealing most or all of its body. Scientists have a variety of theories to explain why this occurs. Although there is yet to be a definitive answer, here are three potential explanations for this behavior.
Planning to Go Whale Watching? 3 Theories of Why Whales Breach
1. To Transmit Messages To Fellow Whales
One popular explanation of why whales breach is to communicate messages. These messages could be anything from a change in swimming direction to a mating call or a warning signal for predators nearby. Humpback whales are likely to use breaching as a form of communicating when the environment has become noisy and their standard singing may not be received underwater. It’s also an opportunity for whales to see what’s going on above the water and assess their surroundings.
2. To Claim Their Territory
Some scientists subscribe to the theory that breaching is a way for whales to claim their territory and protect themselves. This can occur when a whale senses an approaching danger, such as other animals or even a ship. By breaching, a whale can assert their dominance over a particular area by intimidating the perceived threat.
3. To Rid Themselves of Parasites
Aside from communicating messages and warding off predators, many believe that breaching is simply a way for whales to clean themselves more thoroughly. As whales swim, it’s common for barnacles, lice, and other pesky parasites to attach themselves to their skin and cause itching or irritation. Breaching may help them shake these nuisances off.
If you’re planning a trip to Kauai and are looking to do an unforgettable whale watching tour, you can’t go wrong with Kauai Sea Tours. As a top-rated Hawaiian boat tour company, they delight boating enthusiasts with everything from whale and dolphin watching to beautiful sunset tours. To book your next ocean adventure, give them a call today at (808) 335-5309 or visit their website for more information about whale watching.