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You wouldn’t believe how often whales have to come up for air Pi News


Pi News –


2023 has been the year of the whale, from their high-profile interference with ships to their terrifying surprise appearance in Wales.

It looks like 2024 will be very viral for marine mammals as well. TikTokker Lowmariam’s video about the creatures has been viewed 1.2 million times in the past two days.

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After watching the clip myself, I was blown away – it turns out I’ve spent most of my life ignorant of a very important fact about whales.

Then what is it?


“Maybe I’m stupid,” the creator began his video, “but I got the impression that whales can stay under water for 12 hours without surfacing.”

You probably already know that whales don’t have gills, so they can’t breathe underwater. Instead, mammals rise to the surface of the sea to take deep breaths through their nostrils and then return to the water until they run out of puffs.

But if this TikTokker is “dumb”, I’d also put the time that whales can wait an hour to two hours. And I’m very, very wrong, it turns out.

“I just found out that they have to appear every ten to twenty minutes,” he said on his TikTok. “Honestly, it looks very awkward – why were you in the water at that time?”

Why can’t whales hold their breath for long?

Wait – they are doing better than us. 10-20% of their body mass is blood, while ours is 7%; blood contains twice as much oxygen-carrying hemoglobin as ours.

Their breathing is more efficient in the lungs, involving 80-90% air exchange compared to our 10-15%.

Due to their efficient biology, whales breathe much more deeply than we do.

And there is another fact that not all whales take the same amount of time between breaths. Dolphins can stay at depth for about 4-5 minutes before coming up for air; orcas takes about 15 minutes.

Humpback whales live underwater for about 20 minutes, searching for food on average for 4-7 minutes, while sperm whales, which dive deeper, can stretch for up to 90 minutes at a time.

People still wonder (it’s me, I’m people)

“I was shocked when I found out about whales drowning,” said one commenter (yes, it can actually happen).

“Honestly, it’s embarrassing for them,” commented another.

In addition, more people pointed out that the animals that would become whales moved from land to sea about 50 million years ago, explaining their mammalian characteristics – they were four-legged.

I can say that this is the most stubborn sea lover I have ever seen, because my ancestors bathed after their first chest dive. Very orc-ward (sorry…).


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