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Why Do Whales Stick Their Tails In The Air? Answer: We Don’t Really Know!

Scientists aren't sure why whales display their tails.

An Australian TikToker’s video has people on the internet puzzling over a strange zoological phenomenon. Brodie Moss was out kayaking when he noticed a humpback whale’s tail sticking straight up out of the water, completely motionless. Beneath the surface, a baby whale was circling the larger animal. Brodie was understandably confused by this behavior, attributing it to the presence of his unusual-looking watercraft.


whale vs transparent kayak

♬ original sound – Brodie Moss

“The transparent kayak is making the whales act so weird,” he said in his video.

However, scientists have noticed humpbacks performing this odd ritual for some time now. They call it “tail sailing,” and they still have no idea why the large mammals do it. According to ScienceAlert, one theory is that mother whales sleep like this so that they can keep their head in the water (most humpbacks sleep vertically, but with their heads facing upward). Another theory is that the strange position can help the animal to stay cool. No one can say for certain what the purpose of “tail sailing” is, but it sure grabs our attention!

Watch the video below to learn more about this unique whale behavior.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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