there’s no shame in admitting that none of us have any concept of how big a whale is

Once in the 3rd grade, we were learning about marine life. The material we were reading said that baby blue whales are around 50 feet long when they’re born. Our teacher stopped, realizing that a bunch of 8-9 year olds had no actual concept of how big that was, so she took us all out to the schoolyard with a tape measure. Now this tape measure only went up to 10 feet, so she had to mark off 5 total 10 foot increments. And when she was done, standing 50 feet away from us, she yelled back “And this is only a baby! Can you imagine how big adult blue whales are?” And let me tell you, the stunned, profound silence that came from this group of 12 normally chatty children still haunts me to this day. Every time I think about how big whales are, I remember that spring day in the 3rd grade.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing a humpback breach, and that was big enough…

When I learned that a great white was 6 meters, I went looking for size comparison. I was about 10. Our ceiling was 3 m high. So, that’s only half a shark. hmmm.

Turns out the corridor in my parents’ flat was 6m long. So I stood at the doorway, staring at the other side of the house, thinking, that bit between the front door and my room, that’s the mouth… of a shark… when you get to the kitchen, you’re in its belly.  Great.

So, how big’s a dinosaur? No, a whale. Whales are bigger
(Little me loved nature docus and had all sorts of info). … if every floor is about 3m, so a 3 story building is under 10 m. I went outside, looked at the building and thought, that’s only a THIRD of a whale!?!?!  

And they swim… in an ocean… that makes them look tiny!

So I ended up thinking of how vast and deep the ocean is, never mind the gigantic animals. THAT ended up in my nightmares. looking up from the bottom of the ocean, and seeing me, a tiny speck splashing on the surface, so far far away. 

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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