Moby Dick

Fact: Blue whales have really  intimidating penises.

Blue whales have the largest everything-you-can-think-of: we’ve all heard that story about their tongues weighing so much it would take 50 men to lift it. So it might not be surprising that their penises are equally astounding/incredible/intimidating (delete as appropriate).

The average blue whale penis is a whopping 8-10 feet long. Now take a large step forward and realise what 10 feet actually looks like. This thing is so large that is has a specific streamlined design to stop it getting in the way of everyday activities.

And obviously something that long (and a foot in diameter) is going to weigh quite a bit – or up to 500kg if you’re being precise. The testicles are rather small though, just a measly 70kg each – or in other words, as much as I weigh…

Perhaps the most incredible fact that I can give you though is that in a single bout of sexual intercourse a single whale can produce up to 40 pints of semen. 40 pints. That puts even the mighty pigs to shame.

I for one had never thought such things about a blue whale’s penis before. Makes you think that maybe the Natural History Museum’s exhibit needs an update.

‘Another one of Mr Shaunak’s Little Bites of Science’
Image under Creative Commons license. Disclaimer: It is a humpback whale, because they look cooler.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Andrea says:

    Now that really puts things into perspective… particulay if you think that blue whale sperm cell is the same order of magnitude as the human one. Do you have any data on sperm cell density vs human?


    1. Aran Shaunak says:

      Animal cells tend to be a roughly regular size, so the consensus seems to be that whale and human sperm cells would be similar sizes – or at least, definitely of the same order of magnitude.


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