Updated: Dec 18, 2020
"The blue whale, reaching a maximum confirmed length of 29.9 meters (98 feet) and weight of 173 tonnes (190 tons), is the largest animal known to have ever existed. The blue whale’s long and slender body can be various shades of grayish-blue dorsally and somewhat lighter underneath."
The blue whale is endangered, while the exact numbers are not clear it is estimated to be between 10,000-25,000. While they have no natural predators, (however, there have been attacks from killer whales, sharks, and incidents with large boats.) they were hunted in the past for various reason including,
"Oil – Lamp oil, soap, perfume, candles and cosmetics
Food – Cooking oil, margarine and whale meat
Clothing – corsets and umbrellas
and various other products including tools such as fishing hooks."
The blue whale's diet consists mainly of krill (shrimp-like crustacean) and they can reach a top speed of 50 kph. They can live 80-110 years and are found in almost all oceans and they prefer deep waters.
Some fun facts include:
The tongue of the blue whale is as big as an elephant.
Aside from cleaning krill from the plates in its mouth, the blue whale tongue weighs about as much as an elephant, or a daily car.
Blue whales were hunted almost to extinction until they were protected in 1966.
The hunting for whale oil was so excessive that records suggest approx. 380,000 whales had been caught. The International Whaling Commission deemed the blue whale as a protected animal which has allowed it to breed safely.
Blue whales make few friends in the water.
Although it is common for them to just swim around the many oceans on the planet alone or in a pair, the blue whale will from time to time swim in a small group. Where food is readily available, as many as 60 blue whales may come together.
The blue whale is not only the world’s largest animal, but also the loudest.
The human ear can’t pick them up underwater, but the blue whale happens to make the loudest noise of any animal, up to 188 decibels, which is louder than a jet engine. The blue whale talks with low-frequency moans, groans and pulses.
The blue whale has incredible hearing.
Because the Blue Whale communicates with sounds that are such a low frequency, under the correct conditions, one can communicate with others and be heard as far as 1,600-kilometres away.
A Blue whale calf is anything but a little baby.
The newborn calf will weigh as much as 2,700-kilograms and measure 8-metres or more in length.
A Blue whale calf grows fast.
The calf will gain roughly 90-kilograms of weight per day in its first year of life.
Blue whales have a huge heart.
Aside from having feelings and showing affection, the average blue whale's heart is as big as a mid-sized car. The beating of this massive heart can be heard as far as 2-mile away. Their blood vessels are so wide you could swim through them. What we are saying is, they are big. Very big.
The blue whale resembles a well-known sea craft.
When viewed from above, aside from having fins and a fluke, the Blue Whale can easily be mistaken for a submarine – as it has the same basic aerodynamic shape.
The blue whale population size is slowly increasing.
However, their population has not grown back to previous levels. Pre whaling, there were estimated to be around 240,000 blue whales globally. The numbers today are estimated to be between 3-11% of the pre-1911 population size.
Now you know! This beautiful creature's population is slowly increasing, however if we don’t do something, before we know it, they could be gone. How can you help? Recycle, keep the beaches clean, donate to saving the whales, or even adopt a whale on a website that helps save them. Thank you for reading and we hope you will take action and help save the whales.
-The Road To Rescue