- The Loom
The Origin of the Ridiculous
Whales are beautifully ridiculous. They are majestic divers, in some cases plunging nearly two miles underwater. And yet sooner or later they must rise back to the surface to breathe air. They breathe through a rather ridiculous-looking hole on top of their head. Unlike fish, which often reproduce by spraying millions of eggs and swimming away, whales give birth to one calf at a time, which they proceed to nurse for months. Some whales are like underwater bats, shrieking through their blowholes and listening to the echoes. And perhaps most ridiculous of all are whales that turn themselves into giant filters, thanks to a ridiculous tissue called baleen.
Baleen is a giant frond-like growth that sprouts from the jaws of