If you find yourself asking the question, this video gives a pretty good idea of how long a blue whale really is.
Pop quiz: Including all dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures, what's the largest animal to have ever lived on our planet?
If you chose some long-necked sauropod from the Cretaceous Period, you'd be wrong. If you said it was the African elephant, or maybe its ancestor the Columbian Mammoth, you'd be wrong, too.
The answer is a mammal that, despite being an endangered species, has lived among humans for our entire existence. They occupy our largest and deepest oceans, and are the sort of thing that can boggle the mind when you start to think about it.
It's the blue whale, and to get a good idea of their massive size, check out this video. The info claims the boat is a 87-foot whale watching vessel, and the whale stretches even longer than that.
To narrow it down, blue whales are said to range rom 80 to 100 feet in length. Their scientific name is Balaenoptera musculus, and they are one incredible marine mammal.
Did you know the blue whale was the biggest in the world? Wear your blue whale knowledge proudly, they're one of the coolest parts of Mother Nature!
Here are a few more tidbits of knowledge, trivia, and fascinating facts about blue whales.
Blue whales eat some of the tiniest creatures to swim in the sea, shrimp-like critters called krill. At the high points of the feeding season, blue whales can eat upwards of four tons of krill in a day. They do so with huge gulps of water, which is then flushed out by their huge tongue and filtered through their overlapped baleen plates, which are attached to their upper jaws. The leftover krill, usually numbering int he thousands, are then swallowed.
A blue whale's tongue can weigh as much as an elephant.
A blue whale's heart is approximately the same size as a Volkswagen Beetle.
Water sprays from their blowholes and reaches heights of 30 feet.
The humongous whales are also among the loudest animals, and their songs can be heard up to 1,000 miles away by other members of their species. It doesn't hurt that they have excellent hearing, and likely use the sounds to help sonar-navigate. Their calls can reach 188 decibels, more than a typical jet engine which registers 140 decibels.
Unfortunately, ble whales were almost wiped out by commercial whaling. In the first half of the 20th century, whalers killed some 300,000+ individuals.
A blue whale, the biggest animal Earth has ever known, is certainly something to marvel about. They're the sort of thing to amaze your kids and spark interesting conversation.