So let’s dive right in and see what whale facts are going to take you by surprise–we’ll start with the blue whale. We all know it’s big–100 feet or more. Lots of school children get to measure out a hundred feet on the school yard blacktop to see just how magnificently long that is. But were you aware that a blue whale’s skeleton weighs more than 50,000 pounds? That the whale’s aorta (the major artery to the heart) is big enough for a child to crawl through? Its heart is about as long as a man is tall! No animal ever on earth, not even the largest dinosaur, is or was as big as the blue whale.
Sperm whales are champions for holding their breath–sometimes more than an hour. And while they are doing all that breath-holding, they are diving to great depths–sometimes as deep as two miles. That’s where they find the fabled giant squid, one of their favorite foods. The battles that must go on between these animals in the depths are worthy of Jules Verne!
Imagine now that you are diving in the ocean, and some large aquatic animal is swimming toward you. What is the easiest way to tell whether you are looking at a whale or a fish? Whales and fish swim differently. Fish move their tails from side to side, while whales move their tails (also called flukes) up and down. By the way, if something is swimming toward you, whether whale or fish, we recommend getting out of the way if it has teeth!