Size Matters: What Is The Biggest Whale?

what is the biggest whale

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Whales are among the most fascinating animals on earth, and with over 40 different species they vary greatly in size, behavior, and diet.

They can be found in every ocean around the globe, from the warm tropical lagoons of Mexico to the icy waters of Antarctica and everything in between.

These majestic creatures come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny dwarf sperm whale to the enormous blue whale.

But what is the biggest whale? This question has been asked for many centuries, and we’re here today to give you all of the information and provide a clear answer to this.

So sit back, relax, and let’s get to it…

What Is The Biggest Whale?

The biggest whale is the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) which can grow up to an impressive 100 feet in length and weigh up to 180 tonnes (180,000kg).

It’s a true GIANT that can be found in all oceans across the world apart from the Arctic, but sadly these creatures are listed as endangered and are becoming rarer and rarer.

Commercial whaling was such a profitable business that more than 340,000 blue whales were killed in the first half of the twentieth century.

Since then, commercial whaling of all species is now banned by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and numbers are starting to slowly recover.

what is the biggest whale
Image by Wendy Miller

Due to their slow reproduction rate, there is estimated to only be around 10,000 to 25,000 blue whales left in the wild today, which is why conservation efforts are so important for this species.

They are filter feeders that feed primarily on krill, shrimp, and small fish, often taking in around 16 tonnes of food every single day.

The amount of food blue whales eats is up to three times more than previously thought, but to power such a massive animal they need to eat a serious amount of food.

How Big Are Blue Whales In Comparison To Things?

It’s difficult to imagine the size of blue whales without witnessing them in person, so let’s look at how big they are in comparison to other things.

Compared to animals we’re familiar with today, the blue whale’s size and weight are equivalent to 25 adult elephants, over 300 adult male polar bears, or 15 school buses.

A blue whale’s heart is about the size of a small car and weighs up to 1,000 pounds (450kg), and its tongue alone can weigh as much as an elephant.

Their heartbeat is so strong that it can be detected from up to two miles away as it pumps blood around this giant’s body.

Its mouth is big enough to hold up to 90 tonnes of water and food at any given time, allowing it to gobble up massive amounts of prey in a single mouthful.

The blue whale is the largest animal to have ever lived on earth, it’s about the same size and weight as 30 Tyrannosaurus Rex’s or 2,670 average-sized men.

Its length is almost half the size of a football field and nearly 20 feet longer than a professional NBA basketball court.

Hopefully, this has helped give some perspective on just how HUGE these animals really are.

If you ever get the chance to go whale watching in a location where you may be lucky enough to see a blue whale, you should do it.

What Are The Three Biggest Whales?

Whales come in all shapes and sizes, but there are three that take the top spots for being the biggest whales on earth.

Blue whale

The blue whale takes the cake for being the largest whale to have ever lived.

This marine giant can grow to 100 feet in length and weigh up to 180,000 kg, they have the largest heart in the animal kingdom and eat an eye-watering amount of food every single day.

Blue whales can live a long lifespan of between 80 and 90 years in the wild and are among the world’s most long-lived mammals.

Fin whale

In second place comes the fin whale, another marine giant that can grow up to 90 feet in length and weigh as much as 74 tonnes or 74,000 kg.

Nicknamed “the greyhound of the sea” for being the fastest of all whale species, this giant can swim at speeds of up to 40km/h when chasing down prey.

This whale can also live for between 90 and 90 years in the wild but they face the risk of noise pollution, vessel strikes, and entanglement due to their size.

Sperm whale

The sperm whale comes in third as males may grow to be as large as 60 feet whilst females can reach about 40 feet in length.

Sperm whales have the largest brains of any creature to have lived on earth and are notorious for diving incredibly deep to catch their favorite food, giant squid.

Unlike fin and blue whales, sperm whales are toothed whales that are armed with a long slender jaw and a set of teeth to slurp up their slimy prey with ease.

What Is Bigger Than A Blue Whale?

There is NO ANIMAL that is larger than a blue whale, these are the largest animals to have ever lived on planet earth, bigger than any dinosaur.

what is the biggest whale

Blue whales are the largest animals to have ever existed and unless a new species is discovered, the blue whales take the top spot for the largest animal.

Wrapping Up

To sum up, the biggest whale is the blue whale, an animal so large that it is bigger than anything to have ever lived on planet earth.

The marine giants can grow as large as 100 feet in length and weigh up to 180,000 kg, they’re ENORMOUS in every sense of the word.

However, sadly these animals are endangered and due to their size are dying due to human activity in the ocean.

Pollution, entanglement, vessel strikes, and more all impact the lifespan of blue whales, which is why conservation efforts to help these species bounce back are more important than ever.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and learn more about the biggest whale on earth.

I hope you’ve enjoyed it and I’ll catch you in the next one.