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How Big is a Blue Whale?

Blue Whale Overhead

Wondering, how big is a blue whale? Captain Dave has all the answers!

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

How big is a blue whale?

The blue whale Balaenoptera musculus 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, exactly how big is a blue whale at different stages of its life, what compares to a blue whale’s size, and how long is a blue whale in length?

Wait, HOW big is a blue whale?

As this whale is the largest mammal on earth, its size reaches lengths of up to 110 feet long! To translate just how big a blue whale is, it’s almost half the length of a football field and nearly 20 feet longer than a professional NBA basketball court. So, the next time you’re wondering just how big a blue whale is, 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. The enormous size does not stop there though.

I want to see how big is a blue whale for myself. Where and when can I see a blue whale?

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

The Dana Point blue whale watching season between May and October 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 how big a blue whale is, blue whale length, and everything that encompasses.

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Here are some more blue whale facts:

How big is a blue whale’s tail?

The blue whale tail measures between 20 and 25 feet wide, giving onlookers a whale of a time when spotting a blue whale size fluke in the wild.

How big is a blue whale’s heart?

If you’re wondering how big a blue whale’s heart is, the answer is that it weighs more than 1,000 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.

How big is a blue whale’s lungs?

With lungs that can hold nearly 5,000 liters of oxygen, the blue whale 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.

How big is a blue whale’s brain?

Their colossal anatomy of the blue whale may have you wondering about their 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 roughly .007% of their entire body weight.

History’s largest creatures: the BIG blue whales in Dana Point

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.

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

Learning more about the beautiful blue whales in Dana Point

The beautiful blue whale can be found almost all around the globe, as blue whales live in all of the earth’s oceans except the Arctic. However, many blue whales spend several months in Southern California at Dana Point to feed and raise their young. 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.

How to protect blue whales in Dana Point

According to the international whaling commission, blue whales 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.

Blue whales in Dana Point are truly extraordinary, bringing us thrill and joy during our whale watching safaris. For the opportunity to connect and take part in the excitement that these colossal cetaceans offer, join us for an unforgettable experience during one of our daily, year-round, dolphin and whale watching trips. There’s truly nothing like it.