We nearly lost the largest animal to have ever graced the surface of the earth in the late 19th century. And that’s the Mysticeti blue whale!
These creatures deserve our utmost attention for putting on a stern fight in order to bounce back from their dying population. A chunk of credit still goes to the International Whaling Commission, though, for issuing the ban on whaling in the first place.
Outside, our voices gets the loudest on the 16th of February where we move about with banners and t-shirts, educating the whole world about these beautiful species and the challenges that they face. Inside however, we share impressive facts and information about them on the internet in order to stretch awareness to our readers.
In this article, we’ve done just that. We’ve written an extensive piece of content about “the size of blue whales” which is just about the same length as the species themselves!
You can confirm this for yourself.
In this article, we make some interesting size comparisons of the blue whales with other animals and everyday objects and also reveal some shocking statistics and facts about them.
How big are blue whales?
Blue whales weigh 90,000 to 136,000 kilograms (200,000 to 300,000 pounds) on average, although really exceptional individuals can weigh as much as 150,000 kilograms (346,000 pounds) or even more.
The average stretch of a blue whale from rostrum tip to tail notch is 24 to 30 meters (80 to 100 feet). The height is between 4 to 5 meters (13 to 16 feet). Individuals, mostly females, longer than 100 meters are also claimed to have been observed by scientists. One, a whopping 33 meters long (108 feet).
Blue whales are big, but not all of them bag the same size. Scientist have actually made a discovery that the average sizes of blue whales vary by region, with specimens living in the North Atlantic, particularly the females, having the longest average stretch at around 92 feet (28.1 meters), whereas specimens of the Antarctic, still the females, bagging the heaviest average weight at 117,000 kg (260,000 pounds). In case you’re wondering by now, yes, female blue whales are generally larger than their male counterparts.
In the next section, we’ll be translating the “dry as dust” figures from above into a much clearer and exciting perspective.
How big are blue whales compared to:
1) A coach bus:
The average coach bus stretches 12 meters in length and weighs roughly 25,000 kilograms. It would take 2 to 3 coach buses to match the average blue whale in length and 3 to 5 coach buses to rival its weight.
2) The average commercial aircraft
We’ll be considering average sized airplanes such as the Boeing 737 – 800 having seat capacity between 85 to 215 individuals. These normally weigh around 41,000 kilograms (90,000 pounds) on average, without fuels and passengers.
So, it’ll take around 2 to 3 average airplanes to match the weight of the average blue whale. When we consider a fully loaded airplane, the weight is usually around 80,000 kilograms (175,000 pounds), this means that it’ll take 1 1/2 to 2 fully loaded airplanes to match the astounding greatness of the blue whale. In terms of length, the blue whale is quite a few meters behind the average commercial aircraft at 30 to 50 meters.
3) A male human (because they’re generally taller and heavier)
The blue whale vs human is an extremely unfair comparison, but we’ll still point out the facts regardless. The average human grows 1.63 to 1.85 meters tall and weighs 62 kilograms, worldwide. Bringing up stats for the humbling comparison, it would take 12 to 18 fully grown men stacked up end to end to match the height of the average blue whale, and, are you ready for the bombshell, more than a thousand fully grown men in order to rival its weight. Simply unimaginable!
4) An elephant
So what about the elephantine species? They’re the largest living animals on land as far as we know?
Well, even the majesty of the pachyderms alongside their herd of 3 to 40 individuals is no match for the undisputed overlords of the oceans!
Elephants generally come in three subspecies. The African bush, the African forest and the Asian elephant. The former is the biggest of the pack weighing 2600 to 6900 kilograms and stretching 3.2 meters in shoulder height on average. Males, unlike the females of blue whales, are the heaviest. The rest of the elephant’s all line up on the measuring scale as they are arranged chronologically, and they deviate by about 1500 to 2500 kg from the bush elephant.
If we were to make a case of the African bush elephant, then it would take roughly 13 to 52 individual elephants to match the average blue whale’s mass, and just about 7 to 8 elephants (not bad) lined up end to end for its length. But for the smallest of the pack, the African forest elephant, it would take even way more individuals to cover such expanse.
The megalodon is considered one of the largest and most powerful predators to have ever roamed the perimeters of the oceans. It’s an extinct species of sharks that lived some million 23 to 3.6 million years ago.
But even the megalodon and all of its impressive statistics as well as the exaggerations from its name is still is no match for the blue whale.
The megalodon was estimated by a study in 2015 to have had an average length of 10.5 meters and weighed a maximum of 60,000 kilograms.
To fill up the shoes of a blue whale in length and in mass, we’ll need around 2 to 3 times the length of megalodon and no more than two individuals for its mass, respectively.
6) Whale sharks
Whale sharks are the largest species of fish in the world, although they probably wouldn’t be if the megalodon was still alive. They are sharks (not whales) that can reach upto 20 meters in lengths. Females are generally larger than males, and have an average length of 14.5 meters and weight of 18,000 kg.
It would take roughly 2 whale sharks lined up end to end to rival the length of the average blue whale, and about 5 to 8 average individuals to match it’s weight.
If you want to see a more in-depth comparison of these two aquatic giants, click on the link below.
7) Sauropod dinosaurs
Most sauropod dinosaurs, the largest and heaviest species of dinosaurs cannot match the average range mass of blue whales, although the now extinct individuals such as the Dreadnoughtus and Paralititan are speculated to surpass the blue whale in length.
Specimens of Argentimosaurus dinosarus are probably the only dinosaurs that have weights dissecting through the blue whale’s range of 80 to 100,000 kilograms. The specimens are also believed to have stretched a whooping 30 to 40 meters in length, which if true, means that they are one of the very few animals that can rival the lengths of blue whales. Or in other words, they may well be the largest animals to have ever stepped foot on earth. But since all we have are nothing but mere speculations, the blue whale will continue to be the “largest ever known” until otherwise disproved.
8) A standard football field
Obviously here, we can only make relationships with respect to length and not weight, unless someone here knows how to measure the weight of a marked portion of earth, to the very core, in which case, it’ll be much appreciated if you can share the values with us in the comments section.
Now back to the gist, the standard football field measures 90 to 120 meters in length. Don’t tell me you were expecting the blue whale to be longer than the standard football pitch. If yes, it’s very clear that you’ve never being to one.
9) The tallest building in the world
Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world at 828 meters, and the blue whale together with its massive body isn’t going to surpass it both respect; weight or height. In short, the height of Burj Khalifa is the equivalent of 27 to 34 blue whales lined up end to end. And as for the weight? Just forget about it. The blue whale can’t even come close to an empty Bruj Khalifa at 453,592,370 kilograms, let alone one filled to capacity with 10,000 individuals.
Why are blue whales this big?
There’s no conclusive answer for this, but the leading theory is that blue whales are probably this big because of their prey choice of krill, and only krill, except in some rare occasions where they feed on shrimps.
Because of the fierce competition in the waters for preys, blue whales evolved to “specialize” on krill’ so that they may easily gain competitive advantage. Why blue whales chose krills is because of the global increase in upwelling nutrient rich waters rising from the depths of the oceans which coincided with their evolution. There’s also another reason, because krill are extremely nutrient rich! This specialty gave rise to their enormous sizes in the following way.
- Choosing a menu of krill meant that blue whales had to be extremely mobile and have very large energy reserves, because krill’s are only isolated within certain regions of the world, which meant consistent traveling, and attempts to gulp large mouth of krill-filled water are mostly going to be countered by inevitable busts. Thus, the solution is to grow big! Having really big bodies that support such long migrations, and very wide mouths that could easily outmaneuver evasive krill since maneuverability isn’t really an option that comes with a huge body like that.
How big is a blue whale baby?
A blue whale calf or baby weighs 2,267 to 2,721 kilograms (5,000 to 6,000 pounds) and stretches 23 feet (7 meters) long at birth, on average. That’s roughly 4 times the height of the average male and 36 to 43 times the weight of the average human.
Putting things into different perspectives, a new born calf can weigh as much as one African forest elephant. And in as little as a day, the baby gains over 113 kilograms (250 pounds) from suckling mother’s high fat milk, and this can happen for as long as a six months (weaning period). Then, the calf only increase in weight irregularly until it attains maturity at the age of 5 to 15 years. It may also gain weight after maturity but not substantially.
How much do blue whale organs weigh?
Earlier, we discussed about the overall sizes of blue whales. Now it’s time to take a look at the internal components (or organs) that constitutes the enormity of the blue whale.
How big is a blue whale’s brain?
Proportionately, very small. The blue whale’s brain can weigh as much as 9 kg but the average is 6 kg. In comparison, humans have a 1.4 kilograms brain (proportionately the largest ever known), whereas African elephants have a 5.7 kilograms brain. The animals with the largest known brains are the sperm whales. They have brains averaging 7.8 kg in mature males.
How big is a blue whale’s mouth?
So big that you and 400 of your friends could easily fit inside. A blue whale can swallow more than 80,000 liters of water in single gulp, compare that to the measly 0.07 liters of humans you’re bot far away from seeing a humbling contrast. 80,000 liters is a volume of water large than the blue whale itself!
How big is a blue whale’s heart?
According to recent investigation in 2015, the heart of the average blue whale weighs only a little over 180 kilograms (400 pounds) and stretched 1.5 meters across. That’s around one percent of the total body weight.
The scientists who took the measurement were able to do so from a 23.3 meters long specimen that died after being trapped in ice and washed off the coast of Newfoundland.
Comparatively, the blue whales heart weighs about 640 times as much as a humans heart (at 10 ounces and less than half a percent of the entire body weight), 14 times as much as an elephants heart (at 30 pounds and 5 percent of the entire body weight), or nearly as much as a bumper car.
At this size, the blue whale has the largest heart of any mammal on earth, and at least four (average) people can be squeezed inside. And one more thing, a diving blue whale has the slowest heart rate of any mammal, beating at a rate of four to eight cycles per minute. And the impressive thing about this is that the sound can be heard over 4 kilometers away.
How big is a blue whale’s aorta
We’re including this organ because of the popular myth that claims that a fully grown human could fit perfectly inside and even swim through the aorta of a blue whale.
That’s simply as untrue as it sounds.
The Aorta of blue whales, the main artery that pumps oxygenated blood throughout bodies, is only big enough to contain the head of the average human. The aorta typically measures over 9 inches across, or the size of a dinner plate.
How big is a blue whale’s lungs?
The blue whale’s lung has capacity of up to 5000 liters and has a height of over 200 meters. When they exhale, the speed can clock a mindboggling 600 kilometers per hour, and they exhale nearly 90 percent of the total lung capacity.
In comparison with human lungs at 24 to 27 cm in length and 6 liters capacity, blue whale lungs are over 30 meters longer and 800 wider. Their lung is comparable to a bath tub.
How big is a blue whale’s liver?
The liver of a blue whale weighs over 1000 kg. It makes up around 10 percent of the total weight of the blue whale. Thats roughly 10 baby elephants.
How big is a blue whale’s intestine?
The intestines of a blue whale are over 200 meters long and they produce a hell of a content as you’ll see below.
How big is a blue whales fin?
The dorsal fin of a blue whale is slightly over one foot long (30 cm). The flippers constitute about 15 percent of the animal’s length at 3.6 to 4.5 meters.
How big is a blue whale’s tail flukes?
The tail flukes of a blue whale are 7.6 m (25 ft) wide, exactly the size needed to propel such a gargantuan body. The tail flukes are in other words, the size of the standard goal post or as long as a London double decker bus.
How big is a blue whale’s tongue?
The tongue of a blue whale is around 2000 kg, rivaling the size of an adult African forest elephant. Even with these massive sized tongue, blue whales aren’t exactly the animals with the longest tongue. Check out, for yourself, the animal with the longest tongue in the world.
How big is a blue whale’s stomach?
The blue whale’s stomach has a maximum capacity of 1000 kg, or, it could easily contain over 10 individuals.
How big is a blue whales penis and vagina?
The penis of the average blue whale is 2.4 to 3 meters long (depending on whether or not it’s erect), 30 to 36 centimeters in diameter, 400 to 800 pounds heavy, with testicles the size of an average bull dog (at 90 to 136 kilograms; 45 to 68 kg each).
The size of a blue whale’s vagina is still unknown, but making references with the penis measurements, we can say that any opening capable of accommodating such length and depth, and also birth out babies as large as 10 infant elephants have got to be something extraordinary!
How big is a blue whale’s blowhole?
A blue whale’s blowhole (the equivalent of nostrils) can reach up to 20 inches in length. The average is probably a few inches less. Regardless, a hole this big is more than enough to squeeze a baby or ford focus through. Using this blowholes, blue whales breathe. And their breaths, also known as blows, can produce powerful blasts as thick as a man’s arm and 6 meters (20 feet) in length.
How big is a blue whale’s sperm?
So first things first, blue whale’s ejaculate a lot of production when it comes to observing their business. But the oceans aren’t salty because of the blue whales reproduction as rumors suggest. Who really came up with this by the way? Anyways, in a single session, a blue whale can ejaculate up to 4 gallons (15 liters) of sperm from it’s testicles housing nearly 7 gallons.
How big is a blue whale’s eyes?
The eyes of a blue whale is comparable to a large grape fruit, that’s pretty small for the standards it has already set. And oh, the eyes are without lashes but have thick oily secretions that rids them off irritants, and they seem to be rudimentary because they’re only employed as a secondary sense of sight.
How big is a blue whale’s poop (turd)?
As big as 200 liters per bowel movement. The poop is said to have almost the same smell as that of a dog’s and the consistency of bread crumbs. It also takes on a bright neon Technicolor coloration derived from the shells of the krill prey that they eat. The blue whale poop can be as long the blue whale itself.
How big is a blue whale’s appetite?
Very Very big. Imagine consuming 40 million krill per day, or 3,600 kilograms of them. That’s the equivalent of 87 years of hamburger breakfast every single day, assuming you devour only one per sitting.
Krill are one of the tiniest organisms of the oceans by the way. They are shrimp like creatures packing enough energy punch that makes blue whales go crazy over them.
Blue whales feed by ramming plankton rich waters into their mouths and then out sieving the prey from the water which the aid of their gills.
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Cite this Article ” (APA Format)
Bunu. M. (2020, October 29). How big are blue whales?. Retrieved from http://emborawild.com/how-big-are-blue-whales/