“Ten percent of the big fish still remain. There are still some blue whales. There are still some krill in Antarctica. There are a few oysters in Chesapeake Bay. Half the coral reefs are still in pretty good shape, a jeweled belt around the middle of the planet. There’s still time, but not a lot, to turn things around.”
Sylvia Earle, Scientist
33 Blue Whale Facts and Stats Everyone should know
A blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived on our planet. They live in the ocean and when healthy, adult blue whales have no natural predators.
Although there have been some attacks from killer whales on blue whales, these occasions are quite rare. In this article, all facts and stats you need to know about the blue whale are shown.
List of the most important Blue Whale Stats & Facts
- Blue whales can reach a size of up to 100 feet. This means that they are as long as 3 common school buses.
- They can reach a weight of more than 200 tons, implying that they can be as heavy as 15 school buses.
- The tongue of a blue whale can weigh as much as an elephant.
- A blue whale’s average life span is usually 80-90 years.
- However, the oldest blue whale reached an age of around 110 years, according to scientists.
- Their natural habitat includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Antarctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Thus, blue whales populate almost all of our Oceans, except the Arctic Ocean.
- Krill makes up the majority of a blue whale’s diet. Krill are small shrimp-like sea animals that live in our oceans in large numbers. Blue whales just open their mouth and take in plenty of krill, they even can consume more food in one mouthful than any other animal on our planet.
- Blue whales can eat up to 4 tons of food a day, which equals about 4 small cars in weight.
- Blue whale calves weigh around 3 tons and are around 25 feet long when they enter our world. Thus, even at the calf stage, they already rank in the list of the largest animals on our planet.
- These calves take around one year in the mother whale’s body to develop and gain around 200 pounds of weight every day.
- Due to the long period a blue whale calf needs to evolve, blue whale families are usually quite small.
- After birth, in the first year, a calf needs an incredible amount of around 600 liters of mother’s milk a day. Quite a challenge for the mother whale! 😉
- There are rumors that dolphin moms sometimes adopt whale calves which lost their blue whale mom.
- Blue whales breathe through their blowhole. They usually come to the surface for breathing purposes for around 15 minutes.
- While it has been reported that some whale species can stay underwater for up to 90 minutes without breathing, blue whales usually come to the surface for breathing every 20 minutes.
- During the breathing process, they often produce a water fountain that can be as high as 30 feet.
- Blue whales can get such big since gravity does not hinder them to grow underwater, while land animals are affected by gravity much more and therefore stay smaller.
- Blue whales make one of the loudest sounds in our animal world. They can sing up to over 180 decibels, which makes their singing louder than the sounds of chainsaws, jets or even gunshots. Thus, they are considered to be not only the heaviest animals on our planet, but also the loudest.
- Whales use these songs to communicate over quite long distances with other members of their species. These noises can even be recorded up to 500 miles away. It is estimated that due to their sophisticated hearing mechanism, blue whales are able to hear each other’s sounds even up to 1000 miles.
- To determine a blue whale’s age, you do not count the rings like for trees, you look at the blue whale’s earwax layer. Around every half year, an additional layer will be formed. Thus, the older the whale, the more layers of earwax it will have.
- Whale baleen has even been used in fashion in the 19th century since it has been considered to be a suitable material for structuring clothes. This had been especially helpful for corsets and other tight-fitting clothes.
- Moreover, blue whales have also been hunted for whale oil, which has been a precious commodity in the early 20th century. This oil has been used for lamps or also to make cleaning products.
- Due to their significant commercial value in former centuries, blue whales had been on the brink of extinction. Between 1900 and 1960, it is estimated that around 360,000 blue whales have been killed due to commercial purposes.
- In our current age, due to fishing bans regarding whales, the blue whale population is on a good path to recover. However, they are still considered to be endangered and it will take plenty of time until the blue whale species will get off of this list.
- According to the IUCN, it is estimated that the total number of blue whales on our planet lies between 10,000 and 25,000.
- Blue whales can be confused with submarines since they have a quite similar form.
- Blue whales are the largest creatures that ever lived on our earth.
- Adult blue whales do not have any natural predators. Having said that, orcas sometimes attack the calves of blue whales.
- Although blue whales look blue when we look at them from underwater, at the ocean’s surface, they appear in a rather grey color.
- Millions of microorganisms reside in a blue whale’s skin.
- Most of the time, blue whales spend summers in the polar waters while towards the equator in winter.
- Blue whales do not have much company. Most of the time, they swim alone. However, they have also been observed in small groups or in pairs, especially in mating season.
- Blue whales can reach a speed of more than 20 miles an hour if they need to, but usually move around 5 miles an hour. Some sources report that they can even reach a speed of up to 30 miles per hour.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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