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.

Blue Whale Size Comparison

Let’s take a closer look at each of the above.

Length

The blue whale is the largest and longest animal to live in the ocean. Blue whales can live 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.

Blue Whale Length Comparison
Blue whale length comparison


Weight

The blue mammal is also incredibly heavy: 170+ tonnes, in fact. This is over 4 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.

Blue Whale Weight Comparison
Blue whale weight comparison


Age

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 an incredibly 500+ years old.

Blue Whale Age Comparison
Blue whale life expectancy comparison


Sound/Loudness

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 air.

Blue Whale Loudness Comparison
Blue Whale Loudness Comparison


Diet

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.

Blue Whale Diet Comparison


Facts

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, they 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 mothers 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 it’s 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 (48kph).
  • The toungue of a blue whale is roughly the same size as an elephant. The heart is as big as a mid-size car.
Blue Whale Facts