Humans go on holiday with hot springs or warm water, and whales migrate for the same reason: to maintain healthy skin. Whales travel up to 18,840 kilometers a year from foraging polar regions to warm tropical waters, and researchers previously thought they were breeding in tropical waters away from predators.
But according to a study published in the journal Marine Mammal Science, scientists used satellite tags to track the whale’s migration and found that instead of breeding, they were peeled.
Photos show that the baby whale is still born in the polar regions. Whales, like humans, keep getting out of epithelial cells, but in the cold of the polar regions, whales can’t peel, and they have a thick layer of yellow microdiayatobacteria on their skin. High concentrations of diatoms accumulate potentially harmful bacteria that adversely affect whales.
The researchers believe that whales migrate to warm waters to get out of their skin.