Why Are Blue Whales Called Blue?
Ever since the first images of blue whales have been captured on film, people have wondered as to what exactly makes this animal so unique. After all, aren’t all whales the same? Well, the answer is no. While most whales share some basic similarities, each species of whale is unique in its own right. Some species have even become extinct, while others are classified as endangered and threatened.
It is important to understand that these massive mammals do bear a remarkable resemblance to a blue whale. However, there are a few key differences between the two. For starters, they are not always black. In fact, their skin tones are far different from each other.
Why are they called ‘blue’ whales? Because of their unusual coloration, scientists came to refer to them as such. This is not entirely surprising. As it turns out, the word whale comes from the Tahitian word that means ‘to cloud.’
The reason that whales refer to their dark bodies as ‘clouds’ has to do with how these animals travel the open ocean. While smaller ships and boats travel along the surface of the ocean, large whales travel far deeper into the ocean. Traveling at speeds of more than 45 miles per hour, it takes a long period of time for even these massive mammals to cover such a large distance. So, in effect, whales refer to their deep ocean waters as ‘clouds.’
If you thought all whales looked alike, think again. Not only do some varieties swim in a solitary manner, others travel in groups of several whales. If you have ever watched a wild group of killer whales move together in an ocean current, you may have noticed how similar their shapes and sizes can be. In fact, some whales can be nearly identical in shape and size to one another. These creatures travel in groups because it is healthier and wiser to do so.
As you can see, whales are a fascinating group of creatures. Understanding what makes these massive creatures different from other creatures of their kind helps us to better care for them. Why are blue whales called blue? Because their body is blue. And what makes them different from killer whales? Because they swim the ocean in huge groups.
Now, back to why are blue whales called blue. The reason is that their color closely resembles that of the ocean water. This is because these creatures spend a majority of their lives in the open ocean. This means they spend a lot of time near or in the water. And when they come up close to the shore, the light from the sun causes the skin of the whale to change color. This explains why most whales that come up close to land appear white.
Now that you know the reason why the name blue is given to this creature, you may be asking, “What else should I learn about these animals?” Well, other than the fact that they are a great source of food for the whales, they are also important habitat for many marine species. For instance, a female blue whale will give birth to up to four babies at once. A male will help protect the female from predators, and he has the job of keeping the young whales from getting eaten by other bigger creatures in the ocean. This is what blue whales are doing for the marine environment.