Melissa Breyer is’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert and also author whose work has been published by the brand-new York Times and National Geographic, amongst others.

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Blue whales can swim at increases to 20 mph, however they normally travel much more slowly.NOAA / CC by 2.0

They take trip a lot, spending summers feeding in polar regions and making the lengthy trip to the equator together winter come along. When they have actually a cruising speed of 5 mph (8 kph), they deserve to accelerate as much as 20 mph (32 kph) once needed.

9. They have Long Life Spans

While not virtually as old as the Earth’s earliest trees, blue whales are amongst the planet’s longest-lived animals. Type of favor counting tree rings, researchers count great of wax in the ears and also can recognize a ballpark age. The oldest blue whale they’ve uncovered this method was calculated to be approximately 100 year old, though the mean life is assumed to last about 80 come 90 years.

10. They as soon as Were numerous

Before whalers uncovered the endowment trove the oil that a blue whale can provide, the types was plentiful. Yet with the development of 20th-century whaling fleets, their populace plummeted until lastly receiving worldwide protection in 1967. Native 1904 come 1967, much more than 350,000 blue whales were eliminated in the southern Hemisphere, according to the human being Wildlife Fund. In 1931, throughout the heyday of whaling, an astounding 29,000 blue whales were killed in a solitary season.

11. Your Future remains Uncertain

While advertisement whaling is no much longer a threat, recovery has actually been sluggish and new threats pester blue whales, prefer ship strikes and also the influence of climate change. There is one population of around 2,000 blue whales off the coast of California, but all called there space only about 10,000 to 25,000 people left. The international Union because that Conservation of Nature lists the types as endangered. Hopefully with time, the planet’s biggest gentle giants will certainly again roam the seas aplenty.

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Look for seafood certified by the marine Stewardship council (MSC), i m sorry can help reduce the prevalence of fishing gear known come entangle blue whales.If you ever see a blue whale, keep your street — for its safety and yours.Watch your speed and also keep a sharp lookout if you're ever before on a watercraft in potential blue whale habitat. Boat collisions deserve to seriously damaged blue whales.