How Big Is A Whale Sharks? (Sharks Comparison)

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how big do whale sharks get

Whale sharks can grow as large as 60 feet, making them the largest fish in the ocean. But how big is a whale shark? It’s not easy to answer that question because it depends on what you mean by how big and how you define your terms.

In this article, we’ll look closely at how people measure whale sharks, including height, weight, length, and width. We’ll also offer some information about whale shark size records and why these sharks are so large, to begin with. How big are whale sharks?


How Big Are Whale Sharks?


Sharks and Whales are the ocean’s biggest and most terrific creatures. I don’t think I would need to elaborate further on how big whale sharks can be. How big is a whale shark in feet? An average whale shark is around 39 feet long.

It can even get 60 feet long, weighing more than 18 tons! Crazy right? For a better understanding, I have some comparisons sorted out for you.


Human vs Whale Shark Size Comparison


Humans are really tiny if we compare them to these ocean giants. Do you know how big can a whale shark get? Exactly the size of 11 human beings towered. It can weigh as much as 300 people would weigh together.

Infographic Whale Shark Size Compared To Human

If you ever get a chance to swim beside a whale shark, you will know that I am not exaggerating their size. You don’t need to get scared of them, as they don’t pose a threat to humans.

Related: How to catch a shark with the right equipment?


Basking Shark vs Whale Shark Size Comparison


Basking Sharks and Whale Sharks are both pretty similar in many aspects. Both are filter feeders who like feeding on the same thing and live in similar habitats too. But they have their own differences.

Infographic Basking Shark vs Whale Shark Size Comparison

How large do whale sharks get? Around 60 feet long, but Basking Sharks? Only 26 to 40 feet at max. Whale sharks are much larger than basking sharks, and whale sharks live longer than them too.


Great White vs Whale Shark Size Comparison


How big are killer whales compared to great white sharks? Well, great whites are around 20 feet longer than killer whales. But how big do whale sharks get? Are they even bigger than the great white sharks? The answer is yes!

Infographic Great White vs Whale Shark Size Comparison

Whale sharks are double in size compared to great whites. While the great white sharks are much smaller, they are very dangerous and deadly. They can chew you to death. But whale sharks neither bite nor chew.


Megamouth Shark vs Whale Shark Size Comparison


Megamouth sharks are 15 to 18 feet long and tiny compared to whale sharks. They are also filter feeder sharks, but they are categorized under the smaller filter feeder sharks. They are scarce to find.

Infographic Megamouth Shark vs Whale Shark Size Comparison

Their diet also consists of similar things that whale sharks eat too. The only exception here is that they like eating jellyfish too, which whale sharks don’t consume that much.


Nurse vs Whale Shark Size Comparison


The word shark always scared me until I learned that harmless sharks exist in the ocean too. Nurse sharks and whale sharks are such examples. How big is a whale shark? Around 60 feet, but nurse shark? Only 10 feet.

Infographic Nurse vs Whale Shark Size Comparison

They’re pretty small when compared to whale sharks. Nurse sharks like living at the bottom of the ocean. There is no need to compare their diet because both of them like consuming the same things by opening their mouths.


Mako vs Whale Shark Size Comparison


Mako shark might remind you of some shark soup, but I am not here to talk about that because I am here to compare a Mako Shark’s size with a Whale Shark. How big do whale sharks get? Are they the same as mako sharks in size? The answer is a big no.

Mako vs Whale Shark Size Comparison

Mako sharks are used for their fins, and their meat is consumed too. They are much smaller than whale sharks, as a fully grown mako shark will hardly be 8 feet long.


Blacktip Shark vs Whale Shark Size Comparison


Blacktip sharks are small, like actually really small. Their lifespan is also very short if I compare it with whale sharks. A blacktip can only grow 6.5 feet long at maximum and lives for around 10 years.

But Whale Sharks are a lot longer than them in size, more than ten times longer. Whale sharks can even live for a hundred years. Blacktips cannot.


Bonnethead Shark vs Whale Shark Size Comparison


What do Bonnethead Sharks and Whale Sharks have in common? Their harmless nature. But they are not similar to each other in all aspects; want to know how they’re different? Yes, in their size.

How big is a shark whale? You must already know how huge they are, so let me just jump to the bonnetheads.

An average bonnethead shark only measures around 2-3 feet, yes! These sharks are even smaller than human beings. It would take around 16-18 bonnetheads to reach the size of a whale shark.


Dwarf Lantern Shark vs Whale Shark Size Comparison


Do you know there exists a shark that you can fit in your aquarium? Although captivity does not suit them. I am talking about the Dwarf lantern shark! They only grow 20 cm at maximum. You can easily hold them in your hands.

How big are whale sharks when they are born? They are almost the size of the pillow on which you sleep. Even a pillow is much longer than 20 cm. These sharks are called dwarves for a reason.


School Bus vs Whale Shark Size Comparison


Comparing a whale shark with a school bus is easy because not everyone has seen gigantic sharks in real life. But everyone knows how big a school bus is because they have traveled in it all their lives.

School Bus vs Whale Shark Size Comparison

Comparing them, how big can a whale shark get? 60 feet! But even the largest school bus is around 40 feet long. This shows how big is a whale shark.

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Final Verdict:

Whale Sharks are one of the largest sea creatures found in the ocean. If there were no blue whales, they would have been the largest ones. These gentle giants are unarguably huge, but they would bring no harm to you as they cannot bite or chew.

I have always been very interested in huge sea creatures like these. One cannot find authentic information about them easily since they are rare. So it took me a lot of effort to gather all these facts and figures with you.

Now you know how big are whale sharks; I hope you enjoyed knowing about them as much as I did.


Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – What is the longest whale shark ever recorded   

The longest whale shark ever recorded was around 62 feet long. No one exactly knows if a whale shark longer than that has ever existed or not because their skeletons aren’t made from bones.

They have cartilage skeletons instead. It is tough to find a whale shark remains from the olden times.

#2 – How long is a full-grown whale shark 

How big can a whale shark grow? A whale shark can grow up to 62 feet long at their full size.

Although, when they are born, they are only 45 cm long, their growth is very rapid. They are enormous and can weigh around 18 tons. They are called gentle giants for a reason.

#3 – Was Megalodon bigger than a whale shark?

How big was a megalodon compared to a blue whale? Megalodons were the largest sharks ever.

They are deadly, unlike the gentle giants, but you don’t need to worry because they are extinct by now. They were longer than whale sharks, as an average megalodon was around 67-70 feet long.