Fun facts about blue whales


The Blue Whale is the largest animal that has ever lived, up to 33.3m/110ft and the heaviest 190 tons. Such a large animal can be difficult to comprehend, so here are some fun facts - enjoy! Feel welcome to contact me with any extra facts, or correct any I may have got wrong.  

Blue Whales 227


  •  A 160 metric ton Blue Whale is the equivalent of c60 Asian Elephants.
  • But it can be quite difficult to see when it breaks the surface.
  • The fluke (tail) is the width of a football goal.
  • The tongue and heart are the size of a small car.
  • The heart pumps around 10 tonnes of blood through a million miles of blood vessels.
  • The call is one of the loudest sounds in the animal kingdom.
  • The call reaching up to 188 decibels (jet c140 decibels, human shouting c70 decibels).
  • It can eat up to 40 million krill a day.
  • The daily intake of c1.5 million calories equals 5,500 snickers bars.
  • Mouth can hold up to 90 metric tons of food and water, or about 420,560 big Macs.
  • But any food has to squeeze through an oesophagus with a circumference less than a beach ball.
  • The blow can be up to 12m/39ft and the blow hole is the size of a small child.
  • The lung is around 5000, 1000x a human lung, and can inflate about 2000 balloons (so a Blue Whale is good to have a birthday party).
  • And the 5000L of air in the lungs can be replaced in around 2 seconds.
  • Gestation is c 11 months and the calf, born at c2.7 metric tons and 8m/25ft, is already one of the largest animals on the planet!  
  • The calf feeds on c600L of milk a day (imagine this delivered on your door step).
  • On this full cream milk the calf gains about 200lb/91kg per day.
  • There used to be 239,000 in the Southern Ocean alone.
  • In 1930-31 30,000 Blue Whales were caught out of South Georgia.
  • Numbers had been reduced to a few thousand but the mid 1980's.
  • But the good news is they are slowly recovering.
  • Good news for the animal with the longest penis - 2.4 to 3.0m (8 to 10ft).

And finally, most text books say the Blue Whale is named after the colour of the skin, but I believe they are all wrong! There are a few greyish blue whales, but most are bluish grey or just grey. But the colouration you see when the whale is just under the water is SKY BLUE and I think it is what the whaler's saw from the crow's nest when they saw the whale just below the surface!