Arguably, one of the most popular aquatic animals, whales are a class of fascinating marine creatures. Whales are actually mammals, so, they typically don’t belong to the fish(Pisces) group. Thus, they are more closely related to humans than fishes. They are far more superior in intellect to their aquatic peers. It is a known fact that mammals were primarily terrestrial animals. This explains the striking similarities between some of the whale species and their terrestrial counterparts.
With majestic animals like blue whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, belugas, killer whales, beaked whales and much more under its domain, the realm of whales has a very large scope for exploration. Therefore, we at Listontap have compiled some of the most intriguing facts about them.
So, let’s dive right into these Top 15 Interesting Facts Interesting Facts about Whales.
1) A blue whale ejaculates up to 400 gallons of sperms:-
Blue whales, massive as they are, so, is their scale of reproduction. The male blue whales produce at least 400 gallons of sperms! However, only 10% of it reaches the female partner to impregnate it. Mating really is a serious business for them.
2) A child can swim through the veins of a blue whale’s heart:-
Well, it’s a no-brainer that blue whales are the largest creatures living on the planet. This fact may be enough to visualise the enormity of these mammals. Moreover, the tongue of a blue whale is almost the size of an elephant. Some can be as long as 100 feet and weigh as much as 400 tonnes. Thanks to the heavens for confining them to the seas.
3) Whales are the loudest animals on the planet:-
They can be as loud as 180 Decibels. They can hear each other as far as 1000 miles away.In addition to this, they also have echolocation up their sleeves which gives away the size and location of any potential threats. It also serves them in sexual/mate selection. Seems like Tinder gravely needs an update.
4) They can sense and even enjoy music:-
Scientists have observed that whales can sense music. It explains their vicinity to the humans as both the species have complex brains. Music brought tranquillisation to the whales whether in captivity or not. Better not send them to a concert though.
5) They are very social animals:-
Whales move in packs and have communication patterns similar to humans. Especially, the humpback whales had exhibited long-lasting friendships. They even have reunions on an annual basis. Seems like Facebook is in the making there, right.
6) The Blue whales are getting larger:-
Global warming has a very broad spectrum of effects worldwide. Underwater, it has caused increased availability of krills which is the prime diet of blue whales. Consequently, their appetite and size have increased. Like they needed it.
7) They have an ironclad sleeping pattern:-
Now, here’s something intriguing from their daily life, whales sleep only between 6 pm to midnight and that too, in slots of 12 minutes. They sleep in a vertical position with their heads popping slightly out of the sea. This aide them to breathe comfortably while sleeping. People who have witnessed this in person have found it very pleasing to the eye.
8) Adopting other creatures:-
You will certainly be awed as we throw light upon the compassionate part of these benign creatures. Some whale species have been found to adopt another species. Reportedly in 2011, few sperm whales adopted a deformed dolphin into their pod. Anyone with pets can vouch for the love that animals show for anything which is dear to their heart.
9) Unique organ for feeding:-
It’s no surprise that such gigantic creatures require special organs to meet their dietary requirements. Whales employ a method called lunge feeding under which they swallow large quantities of water. This surplus water includes krills, planktons and various other creatures, furthermore this whole quantity can measure up to the mass of the whale itself. A softball-sized organ helps the contents to get filtered and pushed out without any hassle.
10) The “Unicorn” Whale:-
Narwhals, or the popularly called Unicorn whales, have long tusks coming out if their heads. However, only male narwhals have these appendages but they really look awesome on them. Even though, it’s not known whether they use it for protection or for attracting females. But it is interesting to know that they are actually the canine tooths growing outwards and there are no teeth set in their mouth.
11) Have a lifespan of 200 years:-
Scientists have found whales with harpoons engrafted in their skin which date back to 19th century. This clearly suggests that they have a lifespan of about 200 years. Post to their death, whale carcasses, weighing more than 100 tons, fall deep down the seabed and form the basis of a whole new mini ecosystem. The rings on their earwax determine their age. Whales do have a history, I guess.
12) They don’t drink water:-
We pointed out the peculiarity of the feeding mechanism of these mammals, well, there’s more to it. Whales don’t drink water when they swallow tons of it. They meet their water demand through fat metabolism of their stock. Well, there goes the saying “Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink”.
13) Whale vomit is worth tens of thousands of pounds:-
Ambergris or, precisely, Whale vomit is a soft yellowish rock formed as the excreta of whales ages and under the paramount pressure of water, it solidifies. Whales produce ambergris to protect their gut from the beaks of the squids that end up in their belly while they swallow. It is also noted that whale vomit is actually pooped rather than vomited. And sure as hell, it is worth a ton of money. Who thought that poop would be costlier than gold.
14) Whale milk has the consistency of toothpaste:-
Whales, as a mammal, have to fulfil the duty of feeding their young ones. For this, they increase the fat density in the milk and provide for the consistency of the milk. As a result, the milk reaches the young ones avoiding dispersion in the water.
15) The grievous Poaching of The Whaling Era:-
- Blue whales:- Found throughout the world, the Blue Whales were an abundant species in the past. Grievingly, these populations declined considerably from the 17th century as they were poached at a very large scale. Their oil had a great industrial value.
- Narwhals:- These whales were poached for their horns. Now, they are an endangered species and stay far away from the shores.
This black spot engraved during the industrialisation was termed The Whaling Era. This blind pursuit of wealth caused the death of over two hundred thousand whales. It is saddening to see such compassionate creatures who share the same intellect and emotions as of humans getting killed and demeaned. All of the fierce intelligence that humans gloat over has no worth unless we repay the nature with the same warmth as she has looked after us.