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! Do feel welcome to contact me with any extra facts, or correct any facts I may have got wrong.  

D 409 Blue Whales 26 7 16 K Morgan

  •  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.
  • D 98 Kevin Blue Whale heartThe tongue and the heart are the size of a small car.
  • The heart pumps c10 tonnes of blood through a million miles of blood vessels.
  • The call is one of the loudest sounds in the animal kingdom.
  • Call can reach 188 decibels (jet 140 decibels, human shouting 70 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 holds up to 90 metric tons of food and water - 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 (no idea if anyone has tested this hypothesis!).

C 222 Blue Whale 22 8 29 K Morgan

  • The lung volume is around 5000L, about 1000x a human lung, and enough air to inflate about 2000 balloons!
  • But must be tricky to get a Blue Whlae do this!
  • 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 'full cream' milk delivered daily on your door step!
  • On this 'full cream' milk the calf gains about 200lb/91kg per day.
  • The fluke (tail) is the width of a football goal.

A 159 Hornsund Blue Whale 9 7 17

  • 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).

Good places around the World to see Blue Whales (at the right season) include Iceland; Svalbard; Baja California; Monterey, California; Golfo de Corcovado and Chiloé region in Chile; and south coast of Sri Lanka. Also increasing in numbers in other locations such as South Island, New Zealand and South Georgia

Blue Whales 182

Finally, most text books say the Blue Whale is named after the colour of the skin. I believe they are wrong! There are a few greyish blue whales, but most are bluish grey or even grey, and usually mottled (so why not call them 'Mottled Whale!?).

But the colouration you see when the whale is just under the water is SKY BLUE. This is what the whaler in the crow's nest would have seen, the sky blue colour of the body of a Blue Whale under the water. Check out the colour Blue Whale in the picture above, the body appears a mottled bluish-grey above the surface, but sky blue just under the water.

And what to know more about animal penises? Visit the Iceland Phallogical Museum in Reykavik, or check out the website!