Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

How does a penguin launch itself from the sea?

How do emperor penguins launch themselves out of the sea at twice their normal swimming speeds? A mix of biology and physics sends this flightless bird flying… at least briefly: Penguins trap microbubbles within their dense plumage while swimming at the water’s surface. After diving deeper into the water, they release these microbubbles while speedily swimming upwards. This combination creates a cloak of lubricating air that reduces frictional drag, allowing them to torpedo back out onto the ice.

This clip from the BBC’s The Wonder of Animals explains. We also learn how their blubber helps insulate emperor penguins during the long Antarctic winter, and how they can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes while they hunt for food underwater.

Related reading at National Geographic: Escape Velocity. Plus, these related penguin videos: Emperor Penguins Speed Launch Out of the Water and penguins can’t fly, but they can jump.

Bonus: Emperor Penguins keep warm in an ever-shifting huddle.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

The makers of the SAVE plug-in are no longer supporting it. For site speed and security, I've chosen to discontinue its use. If you have saved videos, please back them up with browser bookmarks, Pinterest, or another page saving tool, before they disappear in May 2021. Thank you.
 
This video was posted 3 years ago.

Watch more videos about...