How does the largest animal on the planet seemingly disappear for extended periods of time?

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Apparently, we still don’t know where Blue whales go to breed. How is this possible with all our modern technology? We have satellites, GPS, trackers, sensors, submarines, and deepsea drones, yet hundreds of 300,000-pound mammals just disappear every year? Someone tie a string to the damn thing!

In: Earth Science
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The oceans are really big and the funding to study blue whales is really small. Funding for basic science has not kept up with modern technology, so you just don’t have the researchers to set up a global tracking of blue whales. Honestly, if you can’t spin your research to be relevant to human medicine, you are always starving for grants.

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It’s easy to lose track of someone in a mall, especially if the mall has multiple floors. Even in an close-in environment, where you’re able to move around freely, it’s still possible to lose sight of someone.

Now consider that just the Pacific Ocean alone is larger than every piece of land on the planet combined…then there are all the other oceans, too.

Now consider that the oceans go down around 12000 feet on average – roughly the equivalent of an 1,000 floor building, and it gets harder and harder to even send a machine down as you get deeper and deeper. All of it in complete darkness.

Long story short: you are *vastly* underestimating how huge the oceans are – it’s almost impossible to grasp the scale we’re talking about here. At that scope, it’s easy to lose even a whale.

Ocean big. Like. Very very big. We’re talking 71% of the Earth’s SURFACE is water. That’s not even scratching the actual depths of said ocean. There are massive swaths of land on this planet that is unobserved for extended periods. And that’s basically our domain. Now try imagining how little observed the ocean is. JK we actually already know what’s never been seen yet. It’s 80%. Eighty percent of the unimaginable vast and deep three dimensional living space that 71% of our plant is covered in, is unexplored. With that in mind it’s amazing that we even know some of these fish exist. A blue whale is large sure. But we’re talking like trying to track an ant in mall levels here.

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There’s **LOTS** of ocean. They cover more of the planet than land and are deeper (Mariana Trench, 11km) than the tallest mountain (Everest, 8.8km.). There’s plenty of space to get lost in.

When Malaysia Airways flight MH370 disappeared, many people were asking the exact same question you are, using many of the same words and phrases, but substituting ‘airplane’ for ‘whale’. The oceans are pretty vast…and that’s just the surface area, whales can dive into the deeps.

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