When you first see a whale up close, it’s difficult to grasp just how big they are. There is no better way of describing the size of a humpback whale than by comparing it with a school bus. Visiting museums is one of the reasons why I enjoy them so much. I frequently visited the New Bedford Whaling Museum while working in New Bedford, Massachusetts. On my lunch break, I would slip over to the whale museum and spend as much time as I could learning about them. I still recall how small I felt next to the blue whale skeleton, Kobo, which was displayed high above. Despite its size, the whale didn’t take up much space in the room.
In the sea, everything appears to be much larger! Why, then?
There is a point at which an animal’s legs will collapse and it will no longer be able to survive on the ground. Aquatic animals are able to develop to larger sizes because the buoyancy of water reduces the effects of gravity on the body
5. Bowhead Whale (59 feet)
Bowhead whales inhabit the frigid waters of the Arctic and subarctic. Bowhead whales are the fifth largest whales in the ocean, reaching lengths of up to 60 feet. Bowhead whales are among the world’s biggest creatures, weighing between 75 and 100 tons. The blue whale is the only whale that weighs more. Bowhead whales are enormous, massive, and extremely long-lived! Bowhead whales are also among the world’s longest-living creatures, with some scientists estimating maximum lifespans of up to 200 years.
4. North Atlantic right whale
The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most seriously endangered big whale populations. The North Atlantic right whale population is believed to be less than 440 individuals at the moment. Right whales in the North Atlantic can grow to be between 45 and 60 feet long and weigh up to 70 tons. They have long arching mouths that begin above the eye and rows of baleen plates that hang from their top jaws on either side.
3. Sperm Whale
Sperm whales are the largest toothed whales and hunt prey and perceive their environment via sonar (echolocation). They create so loud sound waves that human divers swimming close to the whales may feel the pulses. The sound bounces off objects in the water and back to the whale’s brain, which uses the data to construct an image. Sperm whales are among of the deepest dives on the planet. When squid hunting, a sperm whale may spend up to an hour diving to depths exceeding 3,000 feet, when the temperature hovers around 36 degrees Fahrenheit and the pressure exceeds 1,400 pounds per square inch.
2. Fin Whale
The fin whale is the second-largest animal on Earth. Fin whales were named because their easily visible fins on their backs. The fin whale, sometimes known as the “greyhound of the sea,” is capable of amazing speeds of up to 28 miles per hour. Furthermore, with such a vast stomach to fill, the fin whale may consume up to 4,400 pounds of krill day! That is a substantial amount of krill.
1. Blue Whale
The blue whale is the world’s largest animal (yes, including dinosaurs). A blue whale can reach a length of 100 feet and a weight of 200 tons. Their hearts are the size of a small automobile on their own! Despite their size, they remain low on the food chain: they feed on krill, which are microscopic crustaceans that reach a maximum size of about three inches. In a single day, a blue whale can consume up to four tons of krill.