There's nothing fishy about that picture.

Not a dang thing. Because, there are no fish in that picture.

Whales, as I would hope you all know, aren't fish; they're mammals.

Advertisement

They can hold their breath for a very long time, and dive to extraordinary depths, but they do need to surface so they can breathe. And that's why they are easily hunted. They have to come to the surface, so hunters can get them.

I'm not going to defend the whaling industry. But some whale hunting is ok in my book. For example, the Inuit people. They will go out and hunt a whale. But that one whale will feed their entire community for months. Plus they get oil for fuel, bones for construction, blubber because, hey....it's blubber.

That kind of whale hunting is fine. It's the whale hunting where they kill whales in mass quantities simply because they want to make a profit, I don't agree with. Yes, the entire animal is used. But most of the whaling done isn't done from necessity like when the Inuit people do it. It's done because the hunters ancestors did it. So what if their ancestors could kill 1 whale every month vs 45 a day with modern technology.....

Advertisement

The Blue Whale is the largest animal to eve exist on Earth. That we know of. So far.

*NOTE*

Some Titanosaurs were longer than the Blue Whale. (One found in Argentina was 130 feet long while a blue whale is 100 feet long.) However, Titanosaurs only reached about 80 tons, while the blue whale is about 170. Therefore, bigger. Nyah!

I say 'so far' and 'that we know of', because there may have well been something alive once that was larger than the blue whale. Or maybe something in the future will dwarf it. Who knows? We won't until we find it.

But how big, exactly, is a blue whale? 100 feet? 170 tons? That is hard to put into perspective. So let me put it to you like this:

  • A blue whales heart is about the size of a Volkswagon Beetle.
  • It's tongue is the size of an elephant.
  • It's arteries are large enough for a person to crawl through.
  • A new born blue whale is the size and weight of a mini van.
  • You and 400 of your friends could fit into it's mouth at the same time.
  • Not only the largest animal, the blue whale is also the loudest. Although the noises it makes are too low for the human ear to pick up, other whales can hear them up to 1,600 km away.
  • You could fit inside a blue whales blowhole.
  • A blue whale eats about 3 tons of food a day.

Speaking of eating, that's a lot of food, isn't it? Although, when you consider it's size, it's not really all that much.

Advertisement

One thing people don't have to worry about while swimming with a blue whale though, is being eaten. (you'll noticed I said eaten, not attacked). Even though a blue whale could take you and 400 of your friends in it's mouth at the same time, it couldn't eat you even if it wanted to.

You see, the blue whale, while being huge in every other respect, has a tiny throat. (for it's size). Anything larger than a grapefruit is too big for it to swallow. Which is fine for the blue whale, as it's diet consists of krill almost exclusively.

What is krill you ask? Why, krill are tiny little shrimp-like creatures. And I do mean tiny. The largest krill grows to about 2cm in length. To put that in perspective, a blue whale eating a krill is like a human eating a grain of sand. But that's ok, because krill swim in schools. In fact, their schools can grow to be about 100 tons in size. Enough to feed a blue whale for 3 months.

Advertisement

In terms of numbers, 3 tons of krill is about 40 million krill. That's more than the number of people in Canada. And the blue whale eats it every single day.

So you have the worlds largest animal eating one of the smallest.

For those of you who are curious, the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale most likely involved a sperm whale, not a blue whale. (I'm avoiding the obvious jokes about a sperm swallowing a man...) However, we know the story is false, because the acidity level of a whales stomach would result in the total digestion of a man sized object in less than 12 hours. So, Gepetto lied, too.

Advertisement