Footprint of a whale

From: Dagmar Fertl (
Date: Tue Nov 18 2003 - 14:00:47 EST

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    Do you know how the whale footprint is formed? I am trying to find out how
    it is formed and if it has anything to do with the contaminants that may be
    on the surface of the ocean.
    Thanks, Ana

    When a whale dives, the up-thrust of its tail drives water toward the
    surface. On the surface this can be seen as a round, calm area of flat
    water, known as a whale's footprint. It has nothing to do with any oil
    slicks or anything like that on the water's surface.

    For those readers who don't know what a whale's footprint looks like, the
    following website has a decent photograph:

    As you can imagine, there's not exactly a high demand from calendars and
    books for slick spots of water where a whale dove, which is why you don't
    see a bunch of photos out there of this.


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