Stranded dolphins are common along the coast of Cape Cod in winter months
Scientists have found tiny bubble beneath the blubber of dolphins that have beached themselves.
However, veterinary scientist Michael Moore from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in the US, thinks that it is "naive" to think that diving mammals do not also struggle with these laws of chemistry.
Even marine mammals ascending from the deep must rid themselves of the gas that has built up in their tissues, or risk developing the bends.
If dolphins, he explained, come up too quickly then there is evidence that they "grab another gulp of air and go back down again," in much the same way a human diver would "re-tank and re-ascend" to try to prevent the bends.
"But there's one place you can't do that [if you are a dolphin] and that's sitting on the beach," Dr Moore told BBC News.
And so when he and his team scanned eight Atlantic white-sided dolphins and 14 short-beaked common stranded dolphins using ultrasound, they were not surprised to find tiny bubbles below the blubber of the animals.
Because three of the dolphins were scanned within minutes of their stranding, the team ruled out the possibility that the air pockets were a result of beaching, and instead think that they formed while the animals were still in the water.
Sascha Hooker, a marine mammal ecologist with the Sea Mammal Research Unit in St Andrews, UK, commented: "This study is much less about why animals strand, and much more about using stranded animals to give us a bit more insight [into] what is going on inside live marine mammals.
"[What's] particularly interesting from this is that the animals that were released... survived.
"So it looks like these animals are able to deal with some bubbles."
She explained that studying the behaviour and physiology of diving animals is incredibly difficult because researchers cannot follow them down to the deep.
Stranded animals, therefore, offer researchers rare access to these expert divers to measure what changes they undergo to avoid the bends.