Eaten Up Alive – The Whales

By | 2017-09-27T19:34:28+00:00 September 27th, 2017|Scientific|

Talking about whales, let’s consider two varieties of them – The Sperm whale and the Blue whale. A sperm whale’s head is enormous, occupying about one third of the whale’s total body size.  It is toothed and has about 18-28 pairs of conical teeth in the lower jaw. Just each tooth weighs about six to seven pounds or about 2.7 to 3.1 Kilograms!

The Blue whale one the other hand has Baleen plates, instead of regular teeth. These rows of plates that are covered with hair help to filter thousands of litres of water which the whale swallows along with its food.

So in the event of being engulfed by a Sperm whale, u should consider yourself lucky if you miss those giant teeth from crushing your bones and making a paste out of you! But if you were to encounter a “Blue whale challenge” – by featuring in the Blue whale’s menu for the day, you have a good chance of being crushed from the force applied by the whale to squeeze the water out to filter its food.

It being your ‘lucky day’, you somehow managed to escape from being crushed upon entering the mouth of any of these two giants. Next comes surviving the challenge of being taken in or swallowed by them. Imagine – There is no light here. You will be surrounded by fishes, planktons and what not, certainly not Sindbad’s cave to go exploring in! Now both the Sperm and Blue whale have a narrow throat which is about bout some 10 to 20 centimetres in diameter. Congratulations! U don’t go any further from here… unless you got help around!

Let’s assume you squeezed yourself in (Aren’t we in our extra imaginative mode today!). You are in the stomach. ‘Swimming’ in thousands of litres of Hydrochloric acid. It is so acidic there, you may suffer from multiple chemical burns and die of pain and shock.

Whales have a blow hole on their head. Un-edible stuff and excess water is pumped out from here. This can be a route of choice to escape. Sperm whales swim at a depth of about 2250 meters and Blue whales at a depth of about 13 meters. An unprepared person can hope to escape only at a maximum depth of 20 meters without equipment. So kindly strike escaping a sperm whale off the list, but may be surviving a blue whale is possible (although we strongly recommend you try purchasing a lottery ticket if really wishful of trying your luck!).


Deepak Tarun

Deepak Tarun is a post graduate in Zoology. Not one to embrace anything at its face value, Deepak believes in really digging to the roots, before arriving at a decision. A budding wildlife biologist and passionate knowledge seeker, Deepak likes to read, and watch stand-up comedy in his spare time.