See Incredible Footage of a 100-Foot Blue Whale Engulfing the Biggest Meal You’ve Ever Seen

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Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Biggest Animals Ever to Walk the Earth: Blue Whale
Rich Carey/

You know that feeling when your eyes have been larger than your stomach and you have eaten way more than you should have? Imagine what it’s like to eat most of a shoal of krill.

That is exactly what we see this magnificent blue whale doing in some stunning footage captured off the coast of New Zealand. It has already been viewed more than 15 million times and it is easy to see why.

Whale Feeding Viewed From Above

Are Blue Whales Endangered - A Blue Whale Near the Surface

Blue whales feed mainly on krill

The video was captured using a drone which gives a fascinating perspective on how blue whales feed. We see a 100-foot-long blue whale approach a large shoal of krill. The giant slowly opens its mouth just as its nose is almost touching the fish and around three-quarters of the krill end up in its mouth.

We learn from the video notes that as the whales approach shoals of fish, they speed up to reach 6.7 miles an hour. That may not seem that fast but just imagine how much energy it must use to propel such a huge object through the water at that speed. Once it opens its mouth, it becomes far less streamlined and slows down significantly. So, the timing of opening the mouth is crucial!

Because getting up to this speed takes so much energy, it is only worth the whale doing this if they are going to get a lot of fish inside its mouth. It is not worth doing it for a small shoal of fish. We see further footage of a whale swimming right through a small shoal of krill without bothering to open its mouth at all!

All About Blue Whales

The biggest animal in the world, a blue whale showing its back from dorsal fin to tail flukes

Blue whales can grow to be up to 100 feet long!

The blue whale is the largest animal on Earth. It is a type of baleen whale and is found in oceans all over the world. To help them move through the water, they have smooth skin and a long body, and their tail is split into rubbery flukes to improve swim speed and efficiency. They are usually solitary animals but may feed in groups.

Blue whales are carnivores and need up to 12,000 pounds of food a day. Their diet is made up mainly of krill which are small marine crustaceans – they look a little like shrimp and are only inches long. This is why an animal as large as a whale needs so many of them!

More Incredible Whale Videos You Might Like

Whales are some of the most magnificent and mysterious giants of the ocean. They are perhaps the only creature colossal enough to contend with another mythic monster of the deep: the giant squid. In the video below you can follow a team of researchers as they document this epic whale vs. giant squid encounter below the waves.

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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