A mysterious object that washed up on a beach in Queensland, Australia, has been identified as a whale penis. TikTokker Bootscootinaf posted a video asking for help identifying the “animal part” before revealing that it is indeed a whale’s bog-standard appendage.
Blue whales have the biggest genitalia in the animal kingdom and their penis can be up to 10 feet long. Each testicle alone can weigh up to a tonne and contain gallons of semen.
The blue whale penis is the world’s largest, measuring up to ten feet in length. They are elongated and curved, and they peak out of the genital slit when erect. Like most cetaceans, they don’t have scrotums, so they rely on their supersized penises to store and discharge sperm.
When a male blue whale reaches sexual maturity, it begins to migrate toward the equator in search of females. Once it finds a female, the male will begin to engage in a long mating ritual. During this time, the male will thrust his penis into the vulva of the female. This action will result in the release of up to 20 liters of semen.
Besides being the world’s largest creature, blue whales are also the loudest. Their calls can reach decibel levels as high as 188. The penis of a blue whale can be a good indicator of the animal’s reproductive status, as it will grow longer during mating season.
A skeleton of a blue whale was recently discovered, and it revealed that its penis was nearly as long as the body itself. The findings have fueled speculation that some “sea serpent” sightings might actually be whale penises sticking up out of the water. To make sure you don’t miss out on any other shocking facts about whales, let’s take a look at seven more weird animal penises.
Unlike the penises of men, whale penises are not connected to their pelvic bones for movement. Rather, they originate from two fused structures attached to a vestigial pelvic bone and are used for penile erection and control. That explains why some males can be so aggressive in mating displays. In a recent video filmed off the coast of Argentina, a right whale went head-to-head with another male, slapping and ramming each other in their chests with their huge penises. It was a dramatic display for spectators and, unsurprisingly, the winner was the victorious male who used his superior penis to eject sperm from the losing rival.
A sperm whales “Moby Dick” can be eight to ten feet long and have a foot-long diameter. Its testes can weigh up to 150 pounds and the creature can ejaculate gallons of sperm in one go.
The oversized appendage is so famous that it’s even featured in the Icelandic Phallological Museum in Reykjavik. It’s so big that it has even inspired TikTok videos, with users likening it to the famous photograph of the Loch Ness Monster. And that’s not the only tie to the mythical sea serpents of old – studies have shown that some of the sightings of giant creatures sighted by sailors were probably just whale penises sticking out of the water!
In the whale world, as in other creatures like sea slugs, penises often get more attention than vaginas. The Icelandic Phallological Museum, for instance, showcases parts of a blue whale’s massive organ.
But a penis’s size isn’t just for show: Its elasticity helps it reach females and penetrate deep into the female’s reproductive tract. A pair of muscles anchored around the pelvic bone give the animal a range of motion that allows it to change shape based on the entry angle and anatomy of a target female.
That flexibility is key to sperm transfer, which is why the whale’s testicles are the largest in the animal kingdom, even when compared to the rest of its body. The larger the testicles, the more semen an individual can eject, and the more likely they are to fertilize a female’s egg.
The enlarged genitalia are also useful during mating contests, like one that astonished onlookers recently off Argentina’s Valdes Peninsula. In the video, a male humpback whale is seen using his massive penis to shove a rival’s sperm-filled erection into his own clitoris. It may sound violent, but this type of behavior is actually common among whales and other mammals. And, as Bootscootinaf points out in a TikTok video, a whales penis can also be bitten off by predators or other males.
The Sperm Storage
One sperm whale’s penis can hold up to 150 million sperm. That’s enough to spawn a whole new population of chimpanzees. Sperm cells need surface area to trade stuff, like oxygen and waste, with the outside world. As you grow bigger, your surface-to-volume ratio decreases, causing the cells to slow down and eventually stop functioning altogether. But if you’re a whale, you can keep pumping out sperm for years to come.
The sperm whale penis in the video below is actually from an animal that washed ashore in Scotland in 1997. But if it were still alive today, its tip alone would be 13 feet long and weigh more than 800 pounds. That’s more than enough to make it the biggest penis in the world.
This isn’t the only whale that has a massive phallus. In a 2002 study, scientists analyzed the private parts of several different cetacean species and found that lone males sometimes extend their penises while they sing for mates. They also discovered that some sperm whales have a penis-to-body-size ratio nearly as impressive as the hermaphrodite barnacles, whose genitalia are eight times their body length.
The more scientists learn about penises, the more diverse they become. That’s why a chunk of severed ocean flesh that recently washed up on an Australian beach has scientists intrigued. They’re not sure what it belongs to, but they think it could be a whale penis—or any other juicy component of an ocean creature.