Little-known facts about the humpback whale


  • The humpback whale is a member of the family of whales known as baleen whales, because they were all made by the Indian god Baleen for a contest once; he would have won too, except Raven tricked him.

  • The humpback whale is forty to fifty feet long, and weighs about 80,000 pounds.
  • The humpback whale sings in a vertical position, head pointed down, at a depth of about fifty feet, for hours at a time, stopping only to come up for air, and maybe breach and splash around a little.
  • Here is an important humpback whale fact: the lyrics to some of their songs are so sad they would kill you if you understood them.
  • Humpback whales are sadder about the recent death of Robert Goulet than they will admit, although it was not their fault.
  • If humpback whales ever learn Tuvan throat-singing, wow.
  • You know those recordings of humpback whale-song they sell in hippie stores? Humpback whales receive NO ROYALTIES from them, which is why it’s a bad idea to go whale watching alone, if you’re a hippie.
  • Franz Kafka: What’s with all this fish stuff, anyway?
  • Little girl: Strictly speaking, whales are mammals.
  • Franz Kafka: Whatever. Hunchback whales.
  • Little girl: Humpback whales. Megaptera novaeangliae. Plus, we’re in the wrong post, Franz. Take a number, and Mig will get back to you as soon as he can.
  • Franz Kafka: Hey! I got number eight! That’s not half bad!
  • Little girl: You’re holding it sideways.
  • Bad mackerel have been implicated in many humpback whale deaths.

9 responses to “Little-known facts about the humpback whale

  1. Bauke


    “# Franz Kafka: Hey! I got number eight! That’s not half bad!

    # Little girl: You’re holding it sideways.”

    I always love your “Little known facts about..” posts.

  2. mig

    Thank you, Bauke. I enjoy writing them. It is important to spread this knowledge.

  3. They can kill you even if you don’t understand them!

  4. mig

    I got 1.61803399.

    Thanks for that link, Joeri. Just ordered it. Coincidentally, the piece I am trying to compose this year involves whales, and if someone is going to beat me to the idea it’s nice to know it was Cage (I’m still trying to talk Gamma into performing 4’33” at a piano recital).

  5. did you know the humpback whale also has a 9 foot penis and 7 gallon testicles? check out whale nation by someone i can’t remember who. heathcote williams?

  6. cj

    It’s not the size of the boat – or mammal – but the motion of the ocean.
    I apologize ahead of time.
    I had to do it.
    I’ll go now.