December 3, 2022
interesting facts

There are many interesting things going on in the deep ocean, one of which is the sleep of cetaceans. The giant sperm whale is one of the largest mammals that live in the ocean, with a length of up to 20 metres and a body weight of up to 40 tonnes.

Surprisingly, even these giants need some sleep. Humans sleep lying down in a soft and fluffy bed, elephants stand up and birds sit down, but how do the ocean’s massive inhabitants manage?
The giant sperm whale have chosen a very interesting position to sleep in, as they usually fall asleep floating vertically.

Although this may not seem like the most logical position, there is a physiological reason for staying alive. While our breathing is spontaneous, in the case of giant sperm whale it is more of a conscious thing. This means that while we can rest our heads in peace, these huge mammals have to constantly remind themselves to breathe. Scientists say that this is why they don’t fall into a deep sleep, but simply rest one side of their brain while the other stays awake – hence the interesting floating pose.

This explains, among other things, why cetaceans sleep for up to 20 minutes at a time and spend only 7% of their time napping. Furthermore, if the siesta were to be too long, they risk having a very low body temperature in the still position, encountering predators or drifting away from the nest.

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