When I saw this post I just had to draw readers attention to it. It’s about Whales and Sex.
First a little bit about why Whales have huge penises and balls:
You see, the male right whale is…pretty well endowed. Ok, REALLY well endowed. Male right whales are, on average, between 13-16m long. The penis is around 2-2.5m long. 15% of the male’s total length. Compare that to the human, average male human height, 1.75m (ish), average penis length, 0.15m = 8%. Buuuurn. Whales got humans beat by a meter…or two.
(That is the penis of a killer whale. The whale is lying on its back. Their penises are only about a meter. Source.)
Not only that, whale penises are BENDY. Due to the potential mechanics of whale mating, this isn’t too surprising. During whale mating, you’ll get a whole group of males crowding and shoving around a female, waiting for an in. In many documented cases, the female will roll on her back, while the male is nearby on his side. He then snakes his penis up and around to get to the female’s vagina. Obviously it’s good to be both long and bendy.
That’s NOTHING to the BALLS. Right whales have the biggest testicles of any mammal on the planet. Together the balls weigh a TON. A literal TON. We’re not even going to do the human comparison because it will just make everyone feel inadequate.
And it’s the testicles that are actually of interest here. This is because testicle size in mammals has been correlated in other species the number of MATES. The more mates a female has, the more competition for a given male to become the lucky one. This results in males producing higher volumes of sperm and penetrate deeper in order to try and overwhelm with numbers. And for more sperm…you need some bigger balls. Not to mention a longer penis. A good example of this is the rat, which has balls so big they drag the floor in some strains. This is also why HUMANS have relatively small testicles compared to their body mass. Human females don’t tend toward having a lot of mates at the same time, and so a guy doesn’t have to produce large amounts of sperm to ensure he’s the one.
Ok got that. Now for the fun stuff.
Imagine this. You’re on a research vessel out at sea in the Bay of Fundy, prime summer cruising area for feeding and nursing right whales. You’re not doing anything kinky, just attaching research tags to whales to determine position and feeding habits.
And then you see it. A Surface Active Group of two males and a female, rolling around and jostling at the surface. The female rolls over, presents her underside above the waves, and then…
That, my friends, is what we in the scientific call “simultaneous intromission”. Two whale penises. One whale vagina. You can do the math.
I’m not kidding. I know it’s hard to see so I’ll give you some pointers.
The black arrows point out the individuals. You can see the female there is on her back, while the males on either side are rolled on their sides, their penises each going in to her vagina.
Now THAT is some major sperm competition!
And the authors point out that this provides a good bit of support for the hypothesis as to why male right whales have big testicles. The whales may not be fighting, but when they’ve got competition THIS intense, some bigger balls are most definitely in order.