Whales sometimes swim with seaweed on their heads. They wear such a “hat” partly for fun, but according to scientists it is also useful.
Researchers have long watched whales swimming with clumps of seaweed on their heads. This behavior is often observed by whale watchers, especially in Australia, Canada and the United States. Then they see whales balancing seaweed on their foreheads.
Animals do this for two reasons: for fun and because it’s beneficial, researchers write in a scientific journal Journal of Marine Science and Engineering.
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To determine whether whales are doing this for fun, researchers look at three conditions. Scientists examine whether the animals do this voluntarily and find it enjoyable, whether they behave differently than usual and whether they display this behavior in good health. The researchers were able to identify all of these conditions.
But in addition to the cute and fashionable aspect, the seaweed hat has uses as well. Whales, of course, do not have hands and use seaweed not only against itching, but also against barnacles and whale lice.
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