There you have it, the smoking dolphin whose video has more than 5.5 million views on Tik Tok.
That dolphins are among the most amazing animals on Earth is a proven fact. The fascination that they arouse in humanity since the first humans launched themselves to explore the coasts is there, collected in multiple legends and myths, such as the one that said they helped save the shipwrecked. (They are now known to help other species as well.)
Able to recognize themselves in mirrors, their intelligence is said to be comparable to that of a 10-year-old. They never fully sleep, they always maintain an active brain hemisphere, and they have a complex communication system made up of sounds, gestures, and clicks that we hardly know anything about. Did you know that each specimen has a name that everyone knows?
Of a happy and playful nature, dolphins have been seen interacting in a playful way with other species of cetaceans. Capable of taking huge leaps, the example of the video that has become popular on tik tok, has not needed instead to show its athletic abilities to catch the attention of users of the popular social network.
As you can see in the video, our friendly marine mammal seems to enjoy “smoking” from the hose that brings oxygen to the aquarium tank. After introducing it in the mouth, the dolphin is dispatched at ease making rings of bubbles that run through the water for a few meters before being diluted.
It seems that there is something that fascinates us about these strange circular formations, whether they are made of water or smoke. I remember now how much attention was drawn that even the Etna volcano was capable of creating smoke rings in 2013, as if it were a skilled smoker. But a dolphin, making rings underwater with oxygen? This seems insurmountable.
Who is the protagonist of the video? Certainly not one of the species we commonly associate with dolphinariums, such as the popular bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Nor is it a beluga, the shape of the head does not correspond, so perhaps we are facing some kind of porpoise, although I know that they are not easy to adapt to artificial environments. Therefore, in view of its flat forehead and the absence of a snout, I rather believe that it is a juvenile specimen of the Irrawaddy river beluga dolphin (Orcaella brevirotris), a cetacean with an aspect reminiscent of the beluga and that inhabits in the waters of Australia, the Philippines and New Guinea. These strange creatures normally venture into freshwater estuaries.
In short, regardless of the identification of the species, it seems obvious that the lack of stimuli in an aquarium, makes our intelligent protagonist have to settle to have fun with what he has at hand. A hose with a strange gas that tickles when you suck it? Great, let’s see what I can do with this thing, or .. or .. O … OOOO.
As more colleagues arrive wanting to play, the young cetacean kills time by making rings. Smoking I hope … that the divine Montiel would sing.