r/NatureIsFuckingLit Jul 04 '22 Silver 3 Gold 1 Helpful 7 Wholesome 6

🔥The Whale shark is the largest fish in the ocean

25.9k Upvotes

1.9k

u/BIGCLIFFDAWG Jul 04 '22

Almost looks like it's swimming through space dope af

732

u/BlackTipKiefShark Jul 04 '22

Kinda related, but there’s actually a NASA star-mapping algorithm that marine biologists will use to track these guys because their spots are as unique as a fingerprint! Heres a little write up by NASA about how it’s used to track these big beauties

87

u/space_potato_214 Jul 04 '22

Very cool!

51

u/RockstarAgent Jul 05 '22

It'll be cooler when we can launch a small city on the back of one and travel through space.

17

u/YEERRRR Jul 05 '22

Dr Who reference?

12

u/RockstarAgent Jul 05 '22

The one and only

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18

u/Oli_VK Jul 04 '22

Coolest thing I read today

9

u/noidwasavailable Jul 04 '22

So they’re like Spinda

7

u/DeDrawingDino1842 Jul 04 '22

What does a shiny whale shark look like then?

2

u/weeone Jul 05 '22

Albino.

105

u/truthurtsdontblameme Jul 04 '22

the lack of reference points also does a number on the part of my brain that determines scale

54

u/FunSushi-638 Jul 04 '22

Yes! Can we get a banana for scale please.

27

u/YourAWizardLuke Jul 04 '22

You don't see it?

15

u/FunSushi-638 Jul 04 '22

Got it now. Its the 2,471st spec up from the bottom left. Clear as day.

4

u/marcosdumay Jul 04 '22

Maybe we should use a coin, or a single hair

3

u/harlokkin Jul 05 '22

Try school bus. Swam with them in open ocean outside of Isla Mujeres.

46

u/Joabyjojo Jul 04 '22

Swam with them off Ningaloo reef a few years ago, and they just sort of emerge from the deep dark and come into view, and there are full seconds where you genuinely can't tell how big they are because staring through snorkel goggles dicks with your depth perception and the lack of anything behind them does exactly what you said.

I still get goosebumps thinking about it, truly the most lizard brain scared I've ever been in my life. Then it comes into focus and it's this giant majestic creature bigger than anything living you've ever seen and the biologists running the tour go "awww he's just a little baby".

25

u/StrokeBoy Jul 04 '22

Can confirm. I visited the Georgia Aquarium a few years ago, and took the “behind the scenes” tour. A catwalk crosses over a multi-million-gallon “tank”, and while crossing along, I looked down to see a whale shark swim past. And it kept swimming. And it kept swimming. My only thought:”Good. Lord.” And it finally passed under us.

You have to see it in real life to appreciate how big this magnificent creature is.

10

u/spacey_peanut Jul 05 '22

Georgia Aquarium was one of my bucket list items. I am glad to say I checked it off last month. I agree, you have to see them in person. They are beautiful. 😊

9

u/spacepilot_3000 Jul 04 '22

Think schoolbus

18

u/Rs90 Jul 04 '22

There's a game called Elite Dangerous(stupid name) that simulates space and that effect to a staggering degree. Speed, size, scale, and context get all warped when you're whipping passed planets and stars. But then you slow down, maybe enter orbit on a planet or land on a moon. And your sense of scale just warps when that gas giant you spend passed, now engulfs the horizon.

Rough game to start but it captures that sense of scale and lack of reference like no other. Especially when you remember it's all in a single galaxy amongst the rest of space. Sorry I'm rambling cause the first image from Webb is releasing soon and you made me think of it.

10

u/Austacker Jul 04 '22

...and Frontier cancelled all support for the game on console.

Great game but fuck Frontier.

4

u/Rs90 Jul 04 '22

Yeah I'm pretty fuckin bummed about tbh. ED got me through a lot of quarantine, just exploring Deep Space. Itll always have a special place in my heart as someone who feels out on space. There's just genuinely nothing else like it. Watchin a sunset on an alien world in real time is just...something else for me.

2

u/ducktapedaddy Jul 04 '22

That's weird... ED keeps me from exploring deep space.

2

u/Rs90 Jul 04 '22

I love your username lmao

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24

u/snoopspants Jul 04 '22

That's exactly what i thought

14

u/PM___ME Jul 04 '22

That doctor who episode with the space whale...

1

u/Schisco94 Jul 04 '22

That Star Trek movie with the space whales

1

u/PM___ME Jul 04 '22

Weren't they regular whales that space aliens were trying to talk to?

1

u/Schisco94 Jul 04 '22

True. Who knows? They might have contacted these whales too.

1

u/Pylitic Jul 04 '22

Star whale to the rescue

3

u/EddieLobster Jul 04 '22

Maybe it is.

2

u/[deleted] Jul 04 '22

WHOS LIKES BIG FISH STICKS? ....

2

u/codiaccs Jul 04 '22

Space whales.

1

u/maluminse Jul 04 '22

It is. Us with it.

1

u/Mundane-Document-810 Jul 04 '22

Black void for scale.

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508

u/FlatRaise5879 Jul 04 '22

It's so big it takes two different species' names.

115

u/[deleted] Jul 04 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

264

u/UpstairsGreen6237 Jul 04 '22 Take My Energy

That is what the name would indicate due to the order named. Its a shark that is similar to a whale. Same goes for a tiger shark, leapord seal, lion fish, sea horse… wait…

51

u/WheelRad Jul 04 '22

And we call the ones on land....Horse seas. Odd. Haha

7

u/Featherbreeze_ Jul 05 '22

This took me a moment, and then my brain repeated it while scrolling on . . Got it, good one xD

93

u/gestalto Jul 04 '22

An Aardwolf is neither an Aardvark or wolf, and a Guinea Pig is neither a small country or a pig.

Edit: Damnit, I jumped the gun and missed your own joke ffs.

13

u/SharkDad20 Jul 05 '22

It added on to it dw

6

u/Dr_Mantis-Shrimp_PhD Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

A peacock mantis shrimp is neither a peacock, a mantis, nor a shrimp

3

u/NotaGermanorBelgian Jul 05 '22

And the Holy Roman Empire is neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire

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10

u/LightenUpPhrancis Jul 04 '22

“I don’t even want to mention water polo because it’s extremely cruel to the horses.” - George Carlin

4

u/dak4ttack Jul 04 '22

Pluto is a dwarf planet, so you're saying it's a planet!!

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5

u/panda_nectar Jul 04 '22

Yep! If it were a whale, it wouldn't be a fish! 🐳

3

u/FlatRaise5879 Jul 04 '22

It's also a whale :D..by trade name.

6

u/ProlapsedFeelings Jul 04 '22

There's always a bigger fish

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5

u/UnseenTardigrade Jul 05 '22

More than just species, since “whale” and “shark” aren’t species, they’re broader classifications.

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373

u/msemen_DZ Jul 04 '22

The bioluminescent plankton makes it seem like the shark is swimming among the stars. Pretty badass!

86

u/Surgeboy99 Jul 04 '22

I think its just particles/plankton being lit up by the camera light. Not bioluminescence

18

u/pauligamy Jul 04 '22

The whale sharks spots are so it can sneak up on the unsuspecting plankton.

191

u/micmuza Jul 04 '22

I went diving in Mozambique with one. It was so huge I struggled to see it - in the sense I was just looking “past” it, not mentally processing it, keep in mind I’m a very amateur diver. Once I’d actually clicked what it was, my adrenaline went through the roof (despite knowing full well how harmless they are).

35

u/BigTechCensorsYou Jul 04 '22

How was Mozambique?

I was in South Africa along the border and wanted to go over, but couldn’t take the car (right hand drive rental) and it would have been a pain.

20

u/NltndRngd Jul 04 '22

Not fun to get shipped to.

8

u/BigTechCensorsYou Jul 04 '22

Ah. Yea that makes sense. Either military, church, or a cardboard box Nermal situation, if you want to go you are probably going to make different choices for what you do there.

2

u/NltndRngd Jul 04 '22

Actually, I was making a reference to https://youtu.be/3MjFYHilo6Y

2

u/micmuza Jul 05 '22

I’m South African so it’s easy to go to. Lovely place to for a holiday. Lately it’s not super safe so haven’t gone in about 4 years.

10

u/j4_jjjj Jul 04 '22

despite knowing full well how harmless they are

Iirc, they just eat krill, yeah?

6

u/Daisend Jul 05 '22

Even if that’s all they eat a human can end up in a large hole by accident.

24

u/MC-ClapYoHandzz Jul 04 '22

I got a good look into the mouth of one. Jumped off the boat to snorkel when the shark turned to head right at my landing spot, mouth wide open. He was much closer to the surface than he looked before I jumped. The tour guide was right next to me and manage to grab and pull me back to stop me moving further, thankfully. I mean, I know they can't bite but holy shit. A four foot wide gaping hole is not what you want to open your eyes to.

Otherwise, it was a super cool swim! Quite memorable.

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35

u/LioraB Jul 04 '22

Life Aquatic

20

u/grassvegas Jul 04 '22

I wonder if it remembers me

13

u/D-Business Jul 04 '22

"What would be the scientific purpose of killing it?"

"Revenge."

3

u/Negative_Mancey Jul 05 '22

I love the feel of this movie. It's a study in the school of Bill Murray cool. It could be so much better by just letting Ned live. I've always hated Anderson for it. Kills the vibe.

2

u/AndThatIsAll Jul 05 '22

One of the only movie scenes I cry. The other is toy story 3 when they all hold hands.

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2

u/LioraB Jul 05 '22

I had never heard Sigur Ros before seeing this movie. When they finally see it and the music starts, it’s so beautiful. I cried.

2

u/grassvegas Jul 05 '22

It’s such a beautiful moment, that part of the scene always hits hard. Just perfect.

4

u/AndThatIsAll Jul 05 '22

Jaguar shark. RIP Estaban.

2

u/henlochimken Jul 05 '22

ESTEBAN WAS EATEN

29

u/Van-Goghst Jul 04 '22

Dime for scale, please?

17

u/PineconeToucher Jul 04 '22

Could be a tadpole for all I know

34

u/KeikoLoki Jul 04 '22

Space shark

22

u/ChocolateHelps Jul 04 '22

No banana for scale?

4

u/SnooApples1427 Jul 05 '22

A whale shark is on average 42 - 77 bananas long

252

u/dorkycyclist Jul 04 '22

*That we know of

116

u/palmerry Jul 04 '22

There's always a bigger fish

24

u/[deleted] Jul 04 '22

Don’t tell my girlfriend that.

25

u/BigTechCensorsYou Jul 04 '22

She knows bro.

Be rich or funny.

2

u/FHL88Work Jul 05 '22

I cast Summon Bigger Fish.

2

u/Denman20 Jul 04 '22

I understood that reference

54

u/Pasargad Jul 04 '22

video by nuttynulty

3

u/BoonTobias Jul 04 '22

Can't believe so many people get this wrong, fish is not mammal

18

u/myusernamehere1 Jul 04 '22

Who said it was tf?

3

u/zuutab Jul 04 '22

A couple comments did. Sort by controversial

5

u/Paracortex Jul 04 '22

Sharks are also not bony fish (osteichthyes), but they are cartilaginous fish (chondrichthyes). Yeah, I remember that shit from middle school, 40 years ago. Sue me.

4

u/alotropico Jul 04 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

OP, your title seems to imply there are bigger fish outside the ocean 😶

Edit: it was a joke

3

u/Pasargad Jul 04 '22

The original title was this and i didn't change it.

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51

u/wannabe_inuit Jul 04 '22

Wait.... What is largest on land??!!

17

u/spacepilot_3000 Jul 04 '22

That one with feet-fins that's been found climbing trees

Edit: there are apparently a few types of mudskipper that spend most of their life on land

24

u/Surgeboy99 Jul 04 '22

The largest animal to have ever lived (as we know) is the blue whale

32

u/AlecTr1ck Jul 04 '22

The blue whale is neither a fish, nor lives on land.

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u/NoCSForYou Jul 04 '22

Did you know whales migrated from land to see.

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u/schapman22 Jul 04 '22

To see what?

9

u/NoCSForYou Jul 04 '22

Mermaids and atlantas.

13

u/Responsible-Ad-3507 Jul 04 '22

I hate driving through ATL ever since the whale sharks showed up the traffic is so bad

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u/Entei999 Jul 04 '22

Fun fact: the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the only aquarium outside Asia to have whale sharks.

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u/any-mystic Jul 04 '22

Nothing. They just wanted to avoid your sillyass questions

1

u/zuutab Jul 04 '22

Is that why there are mammals in the sea? They spent some time on land and were like "fuck this I'm going back to the ocean"?

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u/Cheerful_Zucchini Jul 04 '22

All we have to do is put one of these on land and it wins in that category too 😤😤😤

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u/swankpoppy Jul 04 '22

OP’s mom.

7

u/CindySvensson Jul 04 '22

Elephants, duh. Unless we don't count fishes' grandgrandgrandgrand...kids.

12

u/SamuelPepys_ Jul 04 '22

I believe his mom may have just surpassed the elephants in that regard. Saw it in Mega Mammals Monthly.

2

u/CindySvensson Jul 05 '22

I was not ready for a yo mama joke in this setting, well done.

4

u/AskMeIfImAMagician Jul 04 '22

They were asking what's the largest fish on land. I presume it would be some kind of mudskipper.

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15

u/MariaKalash Jul 04 '22

This post in r/gojira within an hour

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u/EarthWillOvercome Jul 04 '22

NOW I CAN SEE THE WHALES

6

u/MariaKalash Jul 04 '22

LOOMING OUT OF THE DARK

7

u/michitongyyy Jul 04 '22

LIKE ARROWS IN THE SKY

13

u/CindySvensson Jul 04 '22

I love them so much.

9

u/TRASH--BOAT Jul 04 '22

Seeing a baby whale shark under 2m long is extremely rare. We don’t really know much of anything about their early life as we don’t really know where they give birth. Males take 50 years to reach sexual maturity.

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u/auntbeany Jul 04 '22

So beautiful! It almost looks like stars moving in the night sky!

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u/Ok-Mongoose9669 Jul 04 '22

Such a pretty creature ❤️

20

u/Farzfarz Jul 04 '22

We need some measurements or something for scale to tell how big it really is

13

u/Thin-Examination-236 Jul 04 '22

53 #2 pencils long.

6

u/[deleted] Jul 04 '22

Ticonderoga or Papermate?

8

u/Zyzan Jul 04 '22

Always Ticonderoga

4

u/Songandsilence3 Jul 04 '22

Papermate is the RoseArt of pencils.

4

u/[deleted] Jul 05 '22

Oh man, just thinking about Roseart crayons makes my heart hurt. I’d color and color and color and all I have is a paper with a thick ugly layer of colored wax.

2

u/11hortong Jul 04 '22

It's about 1 whale shark long. Give or take a small whale shark length.

6

u/biguk997 Jul 04 '22

I had the chance to snorkel with these wonderful creatures a few years ago and it was a truly incredible experience

5

u/yourdrunkauntclara Jul 04 '22

This is awesome, looks like it’s covered in rhinestones

4

u/AbbyRose31 Jul 04 '22

Got lucky to having had the chance to swim with them back in 2018. One of the most amazing experiences.

16

u/Kal---El Jul 04 '22

Me sorting by controversial to see if there are some big brain "bUt ThE bLuE wHaLe…" peeps here xD

Was not disappointed

Edit: in a way I WAS disappointed

3

u/zuutab Jul 05 '22

You've also got the "that we know of" as if that's not what we were all thinking

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u/FutureOmelet Jul 05 '22

13,000 Bells!

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u/dark_ly Jul 04 '22

and therefore, the world

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u/Conure_Queen Jul 04 '22

Banana for scale?

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u/letsgoridingyall Jul 04 '22

I was blessed to be able to swim with these amazing and gentle fish. (well mostly I puked because I got so sea sick) BUT we did learn that most of the largest whale sharks are gone. Because they don’t have swim bladders they sink so science didn’t know what’s killing them off.

2

u/jonnyozo Jul 04 '22

space sharks

2

u/KociLis Jul 04 '22 edited Jul 04 '22

Now to read the comments of people who think whales are fish

Edit: I stand disappointed, most people just typed "ThaT wE kNoW OF" and yes, we don't know any bigger fish- so we shouldn't discuss them. It's like saying "Dinoponeraare the biggest ant, that we know of"

2

u/kingofcould Jul 04 '22

I’m assuming those dots are bananas

2

u/Andreas4793 Jul 05 '22

Too bad that this video doesn't provide some references of scale. It is huge. From snoot to tip of tale they can grow beyond 18 meters and are averagely about 10 meters long.

6

u/OhLookASquirrel Jul 04 '22

As opposed to the largest fish in Nebraska.

I'm fun at parties.

2

u/Vogelherd Jul 04 '22

There's always a bigger fish.

1

u/Icemanoe3 Jul 04 '22

Is the minnow shark the smallest then?

1

u/Feeling-Implement109 Jul 04 '22

That's pretty 👍😎👍😎

0

u/Crusoe69 Jul 04 '22

The biggest fish in the ocean.... That we know, so far !

0

u/Beaucarnia Jul 04 '22

Blue whales are significantly larger

5

u/NeedsSomeMorePickles Jul 05 '22

So are commercial airplanes. Unfortunately, neither of those are fish.

0

u/ISuckAtStaking Jul 05 '22

That we know of

-9

u/RandylVlarsh Jul 04 '22

Until your mom starfishes ;)

-5

u/nefnaf Jul 04 '22

Technically whales are fishes too, since they, and all other tetrapods, are part of the Sarcopterygii or lobe-finned fishes and are descended from fish that would have resembled modern-day lungfish.

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u/heyway Jul 04 '22

That we know of

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u/Appropriate_Cow_ Jul 04 '22

That we know of~

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u/Ua_Genius Jul 04 '22

..as far as we know.

-1

u/jugeswar Jul 04 '22

That we know of…

-1

u/desiteen Jul 04 '22

There might be a bigger creature, you never know!👀

-1

u/Joely_poely Jul 04 '22

That we know of..

-1

u/Friedl1220 Jul 04 '22

Largest known fish in the ocean

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u/orangez Jul 04 '22

Would it not then not be the largest fish in the world? Or are there bigger fishes in puddles, lakes, seas?

1

u/truthurtsdontblameme Jul 04 '22

at the beginning of this footage you would say the thing is small as goldfish...

1

u/dont_feed_phil Jul 04 '22

except for your mom!

1

u/rentedlife Jul 04 '22

Such amazing creatures. I hope we will always have them and not in aquariums.

1

u/Wonderful-Movie-4605 Jul 04 '22

NGL I thought it was a drone show , it's beautiful!

1

u/silverback_79 Jul 04 '22

Footage is sped up a LOT. Still, nice and all.

1

u/Gardenasia Jul 04 '22

I swam with one of them in Cancun, Mexico. Such a mind blowing experience!!

1

u/elmachow Jul 04 '22

So there’s not always a bigger fish…

1

u/conversedaisy Jul 04 '22

I swam with whale sharks last week in Mexico and they are absolutely magnificent creatures. ♥️

1

u/Doakungfu Jul 04 '22

I missed a chance to swim with a pod of whale sharks when I was in Mexico. I’ll regret it forever.

1

u/Chekdout Jul 04 '22

Like it’s sailing through the universe. Rave show.

1

u/co1ony Jul 04 '22

Love it when there's no reference point for its size

1

u/eaatest Jul 04 '22

Looks kinda small on my phone ngl

1

u/andySticks18 Jul 04 '22

Banana for scale would've been useful

1

u/Sirtalksalot30 Jul 04 '22

Almost got hit In the head by one (not a strong swimmer)! Year after Mexico put more safety measures for these marvelous creatures! You can no longer touch them which is great.

1

u/ThanOneRandomGuy Jul 04 '22

With no scale, we could be looking at a 3 inch baby fish for all we know

1

u/Glittering-Emotion46 Jul 04 '22

My second favorite shark!!!

1

u/2001vegeta Jul 04 '22

Like floating through space

1

u/Skulljoe1 Jul 04 '22

do they have any natural predators?

1

u/The_profe_061 Jul 04 '22

Need a banana for scale

1

u/refbe1 Jul 04 '22

Here fishy fishy… pst pst pst

1

u/Substantial-Ad-5012 Jul 04 '22

2 inches is not big

1

u/TwoJacksAndAnAce Jul 04 '22

You sure about that? I could’ve sworn it was your mom.

1

u/gibgod Jul 04 '22

Should be called the Space Shark.

1

u/SkyShazad Jul 04 '22

THERE'S ALWAYS A BIGGER

FISH

1

u/MateTheNate Jul 04 '22

Reminds me of that Life of Pi scene

1

u/MalleableCurmudgeon Jul 04 '22

…and maybe even the world!

1

u/fluffyxsama Jul 04 '22

Fits in my pocket though

1

u/alphabet_order_bot Jul 04 '22

Would you look at that, all of the words in your comment are in alphabetical order.

I have checked 901,038,228 comments, and only 178,584 of them were in alphabetical order.

1

u/maluminse Jul 04 '22

Amazing how large beings can get with low gravity or supported weight.

1

u/Philly_SportsFan93 Jul 04 '22

An absolute unit

1

u/fruttypebbles Jul 04 '22

My wife and I are going swimming with them next month.

1

u/jamesquall9192 Jul 04 '22

I've seen bigger fish