Blow water 吹水

I had not heard the term “blow water” until last Saturday. I definitely could drink water, boil or freeze it, swim in it, admire the beauty of it but why on earth would I need to blow it?

At first hearing the phrase sounds like a “wellness” term of 21st century – the urge to avoid dehydration by drinking at least 2 litres of water daily goes so excessively wrong that the water-saturated body must blow the surplus. Really!?
Then, I thought about whales. Everyone has seen the iconic pictures of whales blowing geysers of water in the ocean. Scientists believe that whales were land mammals which have evolutionary adapted to the life in the ocean in search of food. Obviously they were very successful in their advancement – they can grow up to 15 meters and weigh around 35 tones. 
Whales have one or two blowholes on the back of their head. These blowholes are their nostrils. The animals come to the ocean surface and without lifting their head they contract their muscles, open their blowhole(s) and inhale air. 
Whales can keep the air in their lungs between 7 and 30 min (sperm whales even up to 2 hours), use 90% of the inhaled oxygen (compare to 15% of humans) and exhale it again through the blowhole. The exhaled air is warm from its body heat and it is released into the much colder temperature of the oceanic environment. So it condenses immediately and voila, the whale “blows water” which can reach 9 meters in the air.
It appears then that “blow water” is linked with something existential such as breathing and staying alive.
The next part of the story is that not only air but also mucus and oils and other bodily fluids emerge from the whale’s nostril and it stinks! Imagine having a cold and blowing your nose. Oph! 
Yet it is a process of cleaning, healing, releasing and eventually relaxing.
The most fascinating fact which hugely enriches the experience of the whale watchers is that different species of whales have specifically designed blowholes. 
As a result, the shape of the “blow water” enables specialists to recognise the species. 
For example, the sperm whales (toothed whales) blow water in a shape of geyser. The humpback, blue and grey whales (baleen whales) have two blowholes on their head and create an astonishing heart-shaped cloud.
So, watch how human “species” blow water – you could probably find your tribe.  
Finally, I walked the path most traveled – I looked at the translation of the Cantonese  (Hong Kong) term “blow water”. 
The English translation is to chat, to talk casually, chit-chatting. “Blow water” is this informal chat when you do not notice that time flies, the chat about nothing and about everything, the chat that connects qualities visible by hearts and eyes. 
It is the song of the humpback, the song of the sea. 


  1. Неочакван и много актуален край на поста. Кара те да се замислиш не само за начините за оцеляване в природата. Кара те да си спомниш за сладкото бърборене от вчера . И пак да го направиш днес !

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