A whale’s flukeprints

A humback whale's flukeprint

Whales don’t have feet, but they still leave their version of footprints. Only their footprints are called flukeprints! Pretty clever I must say, wish I could take credit for that one but I can’t. And I can’t give credit either since I don’t know who thought of it.

Flukeprints are left by whales when they press their gigantic flukes down in the water as they travel near the surface to breath. That downward motion moves the water in a way that creates a flat circular shape at the surface. I’m not able to provide a detailed description of the physics involved so I’m trying to make up for it by providing you with two photos of actual flukeprints.

A blue whale's flukeprint

The smaller flukeprint was left by a humpback whale and the much larger one was left by a blue whale. Flukeprints can help whale watchers track the direction a whale is headed. To me, flukeprints are just another magical thing associated with whales and seeing one is always a good thing because it means I’ve seen a whale.


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