Skip to main content

What the Heck Is This?

You can see this involves water. But what's happening, and what's behind it?

If I were to give any clues today, you'd figure it out right away. So you're on your own.

See the full size image and a description below …

It's the splash of water coming off the tail of a humpback whale as it dives.

Humpbacks migrate farther than any other mammal, and they do so with amazing accuracy. They swim 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers) between breeding and feeding grounds (sometimes much farther) and are typically on course within 1 degree over hundreds of miles. [Top 10 Most Incredible Animal Journeys]

A humpback whale tail is displayed as the animal dives in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay. (Image credit: Anne Smrcina, NOAA/SBNMS)
Robert Roy Britt
Rob was a writer and editor at Space.com starting in 1999. He served as managing editor of Live Science at its launch in 2004. He is now Chief Content Officer overseeing media properties for the sites’ parent company, Purch. Prior to joining the company, Rob was an editor at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, and in 1998 he was founder and editor of the science news website ExploreZone. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.