Whether you’d like to show off to your friends or mimic the dolphin you saw at your local aquarium, making a bubble ring underwater is a fun pastime. The good news is you don’t need fancy equipment to make bubble rings, although underwater bubble ring guns do exist. I think it’s more fun to give it a go on your own, though.
In this guide, I’ll teach you how to make a bubble ring underwater. All you need is a love for swimming and the ability to hold your breath.
Ready to get started? Let’s begin!
What Are Bubble Rings?
In scientific terms, bubble rings are toroidal bubbles. However, I know you didn’t come here for a physics lesson, so let’s keep this simple – bubble rings result from a vortex of pressure. When you release air into the water, the pressure beneath that air pushes it up.
When there’s enough of a pressure difference between the bottom and top of an air bubble, the air pocket opens in the middle like a donut and begins circling around, creating the bubble ring we all recognize.
Dolphin Bubble Rings
If you’ve ever had the chance to watch a dolphin blow a bubble ring, you know how fun it can be to observe. Dolphins make bubble rings by blowing air through their blowholes. And, as it turns out, dolphins often make bubble rings for the same reason people do – for fun.
When dolphins make a bubble ring underwater, they often start tossing it around with their nose to play with. In fact, they’ll sometimes even chop the ring into two by quickly biting through the larger one. Dolphin experts also say that dolphins will sometimes blow two bubbles at a time, sending the second one through the first one for a spectacular show. Just have a look in the video.
Step-by-Step Guide to Making Bubble Rings
Don’t worry – I don’t expect you to start off making bubble rings with the expertise of a dolphin. Instead, I’ll teach you how to make underwater bubble rings with these simple step-by-step instructions.
Step 1: Sink into the Water
Start by taking a big breath of air, then swim underwater as far down as you can. If you’re in a pool, aim to arrive at the bottom. If you’re in open water, use your best judgment of how far you can go down while being able to return to the surface for air with time to spare.
From there, lay down in a horizontal position. It’ll likely take a little practice to get the hang of this, but it’s an essential step because your face needs to look straight up at the surface to produce a bubble ring.
Step 2: Plug Your Nose
It’s important to plug your nose before making a bubble ring because that will stop smaller bubbles that would typically leave your nose from interfering with the large bubble you’re trying to make.
Therefore, keep your nose pinched with your fingers. Even better, if you have a snorkel or diving mask, toss it on, as that will free up both your hands (you’ll learn in a more advanced step shortly why you might want your hands free).
Step 3: Stick Out Your Tongue
I never said you’d look glamorous making bubble rings! So, tuck away any embarrassment and purse your lips together. Then, stick your tongue out of your mouth just a little bit – no need to go overboard.
Once you’re in this position, let out a breath of air by opening and closing your mouth quickly. Make sure that your lips and tongue maintain their shape. Otherwise, you’ll form a lopsided bubble.
Step 4: Make Multiple Bubbles
Like dolphins, you can create consecutive bubble rings. Simply open and close your mouth in quick intervals, letting out a little burst of air each time.
Before long, you’ll be able to use your whole body to form underwater bubble art. Speaking of which, let’s look at some other popular types of bubble rings you can make once you get the basics mastered.
Other Types of Bubble Rings
Now that you know how to blow a bubble ring underwater, you can use your hands to create even more elaborate bubbles. Below are two methods you can use.
Bubble Rings with Two Hands
To make a bubble ring with two hands, exhale to let out a bunch of bubbles. Then, using your hands, break up the bubbles into smaller circles, being careful not to create too much movement in the water.
Form two fists and push your knuckles against each other. You’ll want to ensure you keep your fists just behind the bubble cloud as it makes its way to the surface.
Then flick your wrists out, although you should avoid moving your hands too far forward. That’s what will create the vortex.
Once you’ve done this, gently move the bubbles towards the vortex and, voila! You have yourself a hand-made bubble ring.
Bubble Rings with One Hand
One-handed bubble rings follow similar steps as the two-handed rings I just covered, but they take a bit more practice.
To form a one-handed bubble ring, blow out a bunch of small bubbles and point your fingers forward, keeping them closed and straightened out. Then, curl your knuckles a little until your hand arches a bit.
Finally, wait until the bubbles rise into your hand and then quickly push your hand back out straight. You should mostly use your shoulder as the force behind the movement, as you want minimal disturbance in the water.
Don’t feel discouraged if you can’t form these one-handed bubble rings at first – they’re tricky to make, and the movement you make only needs to be about ten centimeters.
Ready to Practice?
Now that you know how to make a bubble ring underwater, it’s time to hit the pool. Opening your mouth underwater to let out air may feel uncomfortable to you at first. However, with time and little practice, you’ll soon be the star of the underwater world as you impress your friends with large, symmetrical bubble rings.