The Blue Whale

You’ll agree that the planet Earth is filled with a lot of surprising and interesting animals. Either the ones that live on land, in water, or on mountains. The more we explore, the more we discover more wonderful creatures. Each time new animals are discovered, it seems like there’s no end to creatures.

There are numerous animals that live and survive in water, almost uncountable. Some are even unknown. And each year, scientists seem to discover new ones or new species. Among these aquatics we consume, some entertain us while some are dangerous. Come to think of it, What comes to your mind when you hear the word “whale”? Do you just think about some normal whales, or does your brain subconsciously add ‘blue’? What exactly is the Blue Whale? You’ve heard a lot about this species of whale but, are the stories true?

The length and weight of a blue whale are absolutely breathtaking! Try to employ your imaginative faculty. You’re walking down the street, and you see something that is as tall as an 8 or 10 story building. What comes to your mind? Probably King Kong? Maybe not. Of course, you’d agree that King Kong is only a fictional character. However, that is about the size of a blue whale. The longest blue whale was about 110 feet long. And as research has shown, blue whales are the largest animals in the world. Their lengths, as well as their weight, lucidly confirm this claim. What else should you know about blue whales?  Length isn’t the only thing that makes the blue whales special. They have some other qualities and facts that will leave you with an open jaw. Let’s check them out.

The surprising length

As mentioned earlier, the length of a blue whale can equal the length of a 10 story building. Blue whales are extraordinarily long. The minimum length of a blue whale can be about 70 feet, and it can also be as long as 100 feet, an equivalent of 30 meters. Now, that’s quite a great length.

The weight you’d never imagine

On average, a single blue whale can weigh about 200,000 to 300,000 pounds. That’s about 90,000 to 136,000 in kilograms (and 100 to 150 in tons). But compared to some other blue whales, 300,000 pounds is small. Why? You may ask. That’s because some blue whales can weigh up to 441,000 pounds. Now, that’s about 220 tons or 200,000 kilograms. If it’s hard to understand the weight, don’t worry too much because the weight has been metaphorically compared to the weight of elephants. Here’s some simple math. An African Elephant (Adult) weighs about 6 tons. That means it will take about 6 tons × 30 elephants (180 tons) to achieve the weight of an average blue whale, and it will take more than 30 elephants (about 36 elephants) to arrive at the weight of a very big blue whale.

Not your normal tongue

How many kilograms do you weigh? 48 kg? 60 kg? or 7 kg? You might wonder why your weight is needed when we’re talking about the tongue of a mammal. Well, you just found out that your weight in no way equals that of a blue whale’s tongue. Think about this — one of the world’s heaviest people weighs about 630 kilograms. Still, that’s not up to the weight of a blue whale’s tongue. Imagine how big it must be! Again, let’s compare it to the weight of a female elephant (Asian). These elephants can weigh about 7,000 to 9,000 pounds, while the tongue of a blue whale weighs about 8,000 pounds. Now, you see the comparison.

Blue whales have big hearts

Yes, blue whales have big hearts, but not in terms of generosity. We’re talking about the actual heart. Research dubbed the hearts of blue whales as the biggest in the world. A big heart for a huge animal looks like a good combination. The heart of a blue whale can be as heavy as 180kg, that’s about 400 pounds. And compared to human beings, the heartbeat of a blue whale is slow.

The food they consume

Basically, blue whales consume krills. Krills are tiny crustaceans that look like shrimp and live in the ocean. When blue whales eat krills, they consume a large amount. At a time, their stomach can accommodate about 1,000 kg(2,200 pounds) of these crustaceans. And these huge aquatic mammals consume about 4,000 kg of krills in a day. That’s about eating 4 times a day. And during the summer season, they consume up to 40 million krill. 

Four thousand kilograms at birth?

Blue whales have the biggest babies. At birth, they weigh about 4,000 kg (8,800 pounds) and are 28 feet in length. Another amazing thing about the blue whale claves is their growth process. Each day, they add up to 90 kg, that’s about 200 pounds! This makes them some of the animals with a very fast growth rate. That’s quite extraordinary and surprising.

Another version of FLASH ⚡

Flash? Sounds familiar? Probably does. You’ve probably watched the movie, read the comic, or heard about it from someone. Flash is a fictional character that travels at the speed of light. Of course, blue whales aren’t as fast as flash, but they are quite fast — kind of another version of flash. These fast mammals can travel up to 50 kilometers per hour at maximum. That’s quite fast for a heavy animal. Their average speed, however, is about 20 kilometers per hour. But their speed sometimes varies depending on what they are doing. For instance, they tend to slow down while feeding by traveling at 5km per hour.

Another “est” in the list

Blue whales have claimed almost all the world’s “est.” They are ranked the loudest on Earth. Blue whales are way louder than human voices and a bit louder than most jets. When a human shouts, it’s about 70 decibels, while the sound of a jet varies from 120 to 140 decibels. A blue whale, however, can be as loud as 188 decibels! No human ear should withstand that. So when a blue whale makes a sound, it can be heard from a distance of 1,600 kilometers.

Are Blue whales really Blue?

As the name already explains, we think blue whales are definitely blue. But rather than blue, blue whales are more of two colors: gray with a touch of blue (often called blue-gray).  However, when underwater, they look totally blue. While their bellies are more yellow in color because of the uncountable microorganisms that have made their skins homes.

Long lifespans

In addition to all these, blue whales have long lifespans. Their average lifespan varies from 80 to 90 years. That means a blue whale with an average length of 80 feet, a weight of 120,000 kg, can still live up to 80 years.

You’ve probably gotten to learn more about the world’s biggest animal, the blue whale. No doubt, these are some of the qualities of blue whales. But they are absolutely exceptional. If we were to analyze each part of a blue whale, we’d definitely have more to tell, but the list would be crowded. As you digest these facts, you’ll discover that most creatures have their fascinating sides.

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