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How Big is a Blue Whale?

Blue Whale Overhead

Scientists estimate that there are over one million species of animals on the earth today. From common house pets, farmhouse critters, and safari species, to water wildlife, jungle vertebrates, and mountain creatures, the list of astonishing animals is almost endless. Of all the amazing creatures that call our planet home, one is known for its remarkable size and appearance.

This creature forgoes the four legs and fuzzy ears for a life as a marine mammal in our vast and incredible oceans. This marine mammal is scientifically named Balaenoptera musculus but is more commonly known as the blue whale.

Blue Whale illustration

Blue Whale

The blue whale Balaenoptera is the largest animal on the earth. A member of the baleen whale species, blue whales are not only the biggest animals but one of the most astonishing.

When researching these mammals, many ask several of our most frequently asked questions such as, how big is a blue whale, what compares to a blue whale size, and how long is a blue whale in length?

Being whale watching tour operators out of the Dana Harbor in Dana Point, California, our Dolphin Safari family spends countless days embarking on whale watching Southern California expeditions while seeing whale sightings of these magnificent blue whales.

The Dana Point whale watching season between May and November brings these gentle giants to the area as these whales eat small crustaceans called krill. This whale watching season makes for some of the best whale watching in California, and while enjoying these trips, we and many passengers are first-hand witnesses of their blue whale size, blue whale length, and everything that encompasses.

As this whale is the largest mammal on earth, its blue whale size reaches lengths of up to 110 feet long. That blue whale size is almost half the length of a football field and nearly 20 feet longer than a professional NBA basketball court. So when wondering how big is a blue whale, take a long look at the field or court at your next sports game.

While the length of a blue whale reaches far, it leads many to wonder how much weight is packed in that body that seems to stretch on for miles. An adult blue whale can weigh up to 333,000 pounds, making their blue whale size both extraordinarily long and large. This can make one almost fall off of their chair while wondering how big is a blue whale. The enormous size does not stop there though.

Their blue whale size tail measures between 12 and 15 feet wide, giving onlookers a whale of a time when spotting a blue whale size fluke in the wild. Their blue whale heart weighs close to 500 pounds and is roughly the size of a Volkswagen Bug automobile. Each beat of their heart is so powerful that it can be heard from over a mile away with sonar equipment.

With a heart so big, the immense amount of blood being pumped to and from it must be carried through giant-sized arteries. In fact, their arteries are so large that a full-grown adult human could swim through them.

With lungs that can hold nearly 5,000 liters of oxygen, they can hold their breath for up to an hour as they dive to depths of 100 meters below the surface. Two blue whale size blowholes are located on their top side, each big enough for a small child to crawl through.

Their colossal blue whale size anatomy may also have you asking how big is a blue whale size brain. Although the majority of their internal organs are both massive and extraordinary, their brain size is remarkably smaller than what one may assume. Weighing a little less than 16 pounds, it makes up less only .007% of their entire body weight.

If the size of their heart, brain, tail flukes, arteries, and lungs don’t paint the full picture of these incredibly large animals, a quick comparison may do the trick.

Not only is the blue whale the largest animal on the planet today, but it always has been. In comparison to the largest known dinosaur, Patagotitan mayorum, their length is somewhat relative to one another with the Pataogtitan believed to measure in at 120 feet, but weighing less than a blue whale at almost 140,000 pounds.

Their blue whale size weight is equivalent to 25 adult elephants, over 300 adult male polar bears, or 15 school buses.

So how big is a blue whale? Enormously big! Leaving this mammal to be nothing less than epic.

Their epic selves can be found almost all around the globe, as blue whales live in all of the earth’s oceans except the Arctic. With a mature lifespan of up to 90 years, they are amid some of the longest-lived animals on the planet. They primarily dwell alone or in small pairs, with mothers nursing their blue whale calves for up to seven months where they then are able to feed and grow on their own.

According to the international whaling commission, they have been listed as endangered with their numbers depleted due to commercial whaling. This is also true for their baleen whale relative, the fin whale, which shares their endangered species listing as well as similar threats that include vessel strikes and ocean noise.

Although the blue whale is endangered and faces threats during its lifetime, its numbers are increasing and many people around the world are being more conscious and aware of the impact they have on their habitat and existence.

These animals are truly extraordinary, bringing us thrill and joy during our blue whale season whale watching safaris. The oohs and aahs abound when they are seen, leaving us feeling connected to these incredible creatures.

For the opportunity to connect and take part in the thrill that these colossal cetaceans offer, feel free to join us for an unforgettable experience during one of our daily, year-round, dolphin and whale watching trips. There’s truly nothing like it.