Blue whales are the largest animals that have ever lived on planet Earth and can reach about 33 meters (100 feet) in length and 170 metric tons (190 short tons) in weight.
They’re so big they eat up to 3,600 kilograms of krill per day, which is equal to about 869 pounds!
That’s a lot of food for one animal!
Blue whales are so big they have to eat a lot to maintain their size.
They also have to consume a lot of oxygen to support their massive bodies.
This is why they need to swim in the open ocean where there is plenty of space and lots of oxygen.
If they stayed in shallow, coastal water where there isn’t as much oxygen, the whales would not be able to breathe properly and blackout.
Blue whales are totally submersible, which means they can swim underwater for long periods of time.
They travel long distances by diving down deep into the ocean, then resurfacing to take a breath before diving again.
In Perspective: Size of Blue Whales
To put things into perspective, consider this:
Blue whales are about 80 times the size of an average human being.
They’re about as long as two school buses or two semi-trucks (the ones that pull trailers) end to end!
Blue whales are so big that they rival many small businesses in weight. Blue whales are comparable in mass to the following:
- 7.5 million bananas (over 1,000 metric tons)
- 870,900 Smart Cars (about the weight of two Boeing 747 planes)
- 27 million soda bottles (nearly 2,700 metric tons).
- 150 Asian Elephants
- Up to 10% more than that of a 100-story office building
Imagine trying to get all of these things into your car.
Now imagine if you were able to squeeze them into the back seat of your minivan, what would happen if you hit the brakes?
You’d probably take out half of a city block or more (metaphorically… don’t go smashing minivans).
If you want to see one for yourself, you’ll need a plane ticket and go either to Alaska or Antarctica.
Scientists estimate that around 2,000 to 3,000 blue whales inhabit the waters surrounding these remote areas.
And yes, you could fit one of these giants in your backyard swimming pool…but why would you want to?
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