Though it lives in the sea, the whale is a warm-blooded mammal.
It must breathe oxygen from the air to live. When surfacing, the whale takes in oxygen through the blowhole on top of its head. Then, filling its large elastic lungs which are connected to the blowhole, the whale dives to feed.
While underwater, the whale’s body heats up that air. When the whale surfaces, it forces the air that was held in its lungs out the blowhole.
This action is called spouting, or blowing. When the warm air comes into contact with the cool outside air, it condenses and turns into a steamy spray. A similar thing happens when our own breath hits the air in cold weather.
Different types of whales spout in particular ways, and experts can tell the species of the whale from the spout.
The whale’s spout can shoot 20 feet in the air and be seen from a mile away.