When it comes to the world's most enormous sea creatures, many of us have an innate curiosity that leads us to wonder. Whales come in a multitude of unique shapes, sizes, and species. Of course, the main question people often want answered when it comes to whales is,
Which one is the biggest?
Continue reading as we discuss ten incredible whale species, starting from the largest and making our way to the smallest.
Whale Chart Size
Whales are the largest and heaviest marine mammals. Here is a small sizing chart to give you an idea of how big they truly are.
98 feet (30 meters)
90 feet (27.5 meters)
67 feet (20.5 meters)
59-65 feet (18-19.8 meters)
45-69 feet (14-18 meters)
52 feet (16 meters)
52 feet (15.8 meters)
49 feet (14.9 meters)
46 feet (14 meters)
23 feet (7 meters)
What Are The Worlds Largest Whales In Order?
Not only is the Blue Whale the largest species of whale, but it is the largest sea creature on the planet!
No animal on Earth can outsize the beautiful blue whale.
An average blue whale weighs about 173 tons and can grow to be more than 30 meters or 98 feet long!
To give you an idea of just how long the blue whale can grow, it is about the length of three traditional school buses lined up back to back.
Because blue whales are so enormous, you might think,
There is no way I'll EVER swim in the open ocean! What if I get swallowed up?!
Ironically enough, the blue whale throat is about the size of a dinner plate. For this reason, blue whales only feed on small fish and plankton.
Today, you can find the largest whale species swimming around in the North Pacific, North Atlantic, Indian, and a few parts of the Southern Hemisphere's oceans. But, unfortunately, commercial whaling has reduced the number of blue whales left in the world.
Coming in just behind the blue whale is the fin whale, the second-largest whale species on Earth. The average fin whale will grow to be 27.5 meters or 90 feet long. In terms of length, the fin whale is very similar to the blue whale.
However, fin whales have much slimmer bodies, which is why they only weigh around 72 tons on average. In the North Pacific alone, you'll find around 17,000 fin whales!
Fin whales have some of the loudest "voices" and "songs" out of all the whales.
The third-largest whale species is the sperm whale. An average adult sperm whale can grow up to 20.5 meters or 67 feet in length. Many adult male sperm whales weigh around 56 tons. Due to increased whaling, however, sperm whales have decreased in size. Sperm whales are unique for several reasons.
For starters, they are the largest toothed whale on the planet. Secondly, they have the largest brain of ANY known mammal!
They look so different than anything you've seen because their heads take up about 1/3 of the length of their bodies.
FUN FACT: There are 76 species of toothed whales in the ocean, which the scientific community refers to as "odontocetes." Other whales have baleen in place of teeth.
There are three different whale species within the right whale umbrella, including the North Pacific Right Whale, the Southern Right Whale, and the North Atlantic Right Whale. The North Atlantic Right Whale and the North Pacific Right Whale have round bodies and v-shaped blowholes, often categorized by their dark skin.
Both North Pacific and North Atlantic Right Whales received the "right whale" name as whalers used to say they were the "right" whale to capture due to their plentiful blubber and meat.
However, beyond the fact that they are very calm and easy to capture, they are often killed by ship strikes and fishing net entanglement.
On average, these whales can grow up to 18 meters of 60 feet in length and can sometimes weigh over 100 tons!
You can often find these massive animals near Mexico and Baja, California, though many have spotted them in small groups around Hawaii and the Bering Sea.
Bowhead whales are thick-bodied whales that range from around 14-18 meters or 45 to 69 feet in length.
An average adult bowhead whale will get to approximately 75 tons, though it isn't uncommon to see a bowhead whale reach up to 100 tons!
The bowhead whale species resides in the freezing waters of the Arctic and Subarctic.
The humpback whale is about 16 meters or 52 feet long. On average, full-grown humpback whales weigh in at 30 tons.
When it comes to whale watching, the humpback whale is quite a popular specimen. Because humpback whales have such unique breaching habits, whale watchers commonly see them coming up for air. If you're now wondering "Why do whales breach?" Find out here!
You can find these massive mammals in the North Pacific, the Alaskan Gulf, and the Arabian Sea.
By the time it becomes a mature adult, the sei whale can grow up to 52 feet in length and weigh around 28 tons!
Sei whales are part of the baleen whale family and are distinguished by their dark grey skin with irregular white spots on the front end of the body.
You'll find a slightly arched rostrum on the sei whale, which helps separate it from the ever similar Bryde's whale.
These whales enjoy temperate waters in subtropical regions, where they can consume a whopping 900 kilos of food every day.
Unfortunately, commercial whalers have wiped out a large portion of the sei whale population. Today, only a third of the original population still exists on the planet.
Another crowd favorite in the world of whale species is the gray whale.
Hunters often refer to the gray whale species as "devil fish" due to their vicious fighting behavior. It isn't uncommon to see a gray whale around 14.9 meters or 49 feet in length and around 40 tons!
Unlike many whales, Gray whales do not have a dorsal fin. Instead, they sport a dorsal hump on the ends of their backs.
Their fat is more than 10" thick to protect them from cold waters.
When October rolls around, you can see gray whales migrate towards Mexico's Baja Peninsula and California's southern Gulf, as they love warm, coastal waters.
Depending on where they are located, Bryde's Whales can range in size.
On average, these whales are around 46 feet in length. However, females are slightly larger at approximately 50 feet.
In terms of weight, an average Bryde's whale comes in at around 13-28 tons.
The minke whale is a member of the Baleen whale family.
Female minke whales are often larger than males. You can distinguish a minke whale by its black, dark gray, or purplish color.
There are two types, the common minke whale which grows to 35 feet, and the Antarctic minke whale which averages at 29 feet.
While they're the last on our list, they're certainly not small by any means!