Humpback Whales Create Bubble Nets To Trap Prey In Incredible Footage

Have you ever witnessed the incredibly unique hunting methods of humpback whales? If not, this story is for you. The University of Hawaii shared a truly striking video of a pair of humpback whales catching prey. In the video, the duo is seen swimming around their target in circles while blowing bubbles. The bubbles created by this circular ‘net’ surround their prey for some time. After that, only the whales lunge at their prey from below.

Humpback whales hunting
Source: K. Kosma/Royal Society Open Science 2019

The once-in-a-lifetime video was shot in the freezing waters of Southern Alaska. In order to capture the video, many technical instruments such as sensors and drones were used in addition to cameras.

The video shows the school of fish, which is the target of the humpback whales, being trapped in the bubble net. While their prey is confined, unable to escape, the whales start swallowing them with their mouths wide open.

Humpback whales hunting
Source: Alaska Whale Foundation

As claimed by Lars Bejde, the director of the UH Mānoa Marine Mammal Research Program (MMRP), this footage is ‘groundbreaking’. Bejde stated that the researchers at MMRP are studying the manipulation and preparation tactics of humpback whales, which are used to capture prey. In addition, he stated that many new insights regarding the behavioral patterns of humpback whales can be gained through these studies.

Watch The Incredible Video Below

During the summer, over 3,000 humpback whales visit Alaska. In the winter, however, around 10,000 humpback whales can be seen, as it’s the breeding season. Researchers wish that this video would raise awareness about how climate change has affected the food and habitats of marine creatures. So, if you like this story, share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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