The blue whale is the largest living animal on Earth. It can be quite difficult to understand just how big a blue whale is, for that reason. With this, here is a direct comparison of a blue whale to other animals, to help understand just how large the largest living animal is in the world.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the above.
The blue whale is the largest and longest animal to live in the ocean. Blue whales can live up to 100 feet long. This is over 16 times a typical human’s height. This results in the blue whale having virtually no natural predators.
The blue mammal is also incredibly heavy: 170+ tonnes, in fact. This is over four times larger than a sperm whale and over 2,400+ the size of a human.
Some blue whales are estimated to be as large as 190 tonnes. Part of their weight comes from the thick layers of blubber (5-30cm thick) needed to keep the large marine mammal warm.
Although the blue whale is one of the largest animals in the world, this doesn’t equate to it being the longest-living. Blue whales typically live to 90 years old,
On the other hand, the Greenland shark can live to 250+ years old, the bowhead whale to 200+ years, and the Atlantic clam to incredibly 500+ years old.
Surprisingly, the blue whale is one of the loudest animals on Earth. The blue whale’s whistling, calls, and clicking can reach up to 180 decibels. This dwarfs the sound of a jet engine taking off, and even a lion.
The sound of a blue whale can be heard in the water up to 500 miles/800km. Part of this is due to the frequency, loudness, and fact sound travels easier in water than in air.
To feed a blue whale takes an incredible amount of food. On a typical day, a blue whale can eat up to 4 tonnes (8,000lb) of krill. Being the size a blue whale is, it naturally has to eat this much to maintain weight. It does this as a filter feeder by using its large mouth to filter krill to eat.
With the blue whale being the largest living mammal alive, you won’t be surprised to find some other facts that make the blue whale impressive.
- When a blue whale is first born, it can weigh around 3 tons – this is the equivalent of three small cars.
- It is also assumed that the mother-calf bond is strongest in the whale community of animals. A mother will feed her calf up to 80kg of milk a day, to help it grow strong.
Some calves stay with their mother’s way beyond the typical ~7 months of a mother feeding the calf, even up to 3 years. During this time, they tend to swim close to the side of the mother, known as “echelon”. This calf position allows it to swim in the wake of its mother, reducing the drag on the calf.
- Blue whales are not just the largest living animal on Earth, but also the largest animal to ever live on Earth.
- A blue whale, although slow-moving, can reach speeds up to 30mph (48 kph).
- The tongue of a blue whale is roughly the same size as an elephant. The heart is as big as a mid-size car.
How big is a blue whale actually?
Blue whales can grow to nearly 100 feet and weigh in at an incredible 380,000lb (173,000kg). They are the largest living animal on Earth and dwarf the size of any other animal.
What is the blue whale the same size as?
In terms of animals, nothing. A blue whale is 1.5 times the size of a sperm whale, 5 times the size of a great white shark, and weighs over 4 times the weight of the aforementioned sperm whale.
Could a blue whale swallow a human?
Not exactly. A human wouldn’t be able to fit down the throat of a blue whale. Saying this, the blue whale has a large enough mouth to fit inside that. However, this is extremely unlikely to happen, considering blue whales eat very small marine life.
Is there anything larger than a blue whale?
In terms of a living animal, no. However, in terms of a living organism, the humongous fungus dwarfs the blue whale in size, and can way hundreds and hundreds of tonnes.