It may sound like something from the imagination of Lisa Frank, but caught in the right light, whales can exhale a rainbow. One of nature's most incredible and surprising phenomenons.

 According to Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary, the whales can hold their breath for up to 45 minutes, but usually surface every 7 to 15 minutes. Earlier this month, photographer Mark Girardeau and friend Jason Anderson captured drone footage of a humpback whale surfacing to exhale.

Humpback whales actually have two blow holes located on the top of their heads, and when they breath out they release warm air from their lungs. In the mist formed by the exhalation, you can see a happy rainbow in the drops. The whale was spotted off the coast of Newport Beach, California.

While this colorful phenomena is pretty easy to explain with a lesson on how light refracts through water like a prism, it really doesn't make it any less mesmerizing.

In fact, there's a pretty good chance that no other animal on earth can produce rainbows simply by breathing.

When whales surface to breathe, air passes in and out of their blowholes like an explosion, sending up tall clouds of vapor along with it. Contrary to popular depictions, these spouts aren't ejecting water from the inside.

Surfacing from the ocean to spray rainbows isn’t the only fascinating ability of humpback whales. These animals can sing different songs to each other, and can migrate thousands of miles across the sea using impressive navigational skills.


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