Aquatic life in the ocean never ceases to amaze me. Scientists have always believed that most species in the ocean sleep with half their brains still active to avoid drowning and avoid predators. But in 2008, scientists discovered that sperm whales fall into a deep state of sleep and proved that theory didn’t apply to all ocean life. Some unbelievable images like Crabzilla the giant crab are considered a hoax but this image and video of sperm whales sleeping vertically is a scientific fact.
This portion of the video from ‘Magic of the Blue’ on the Discovery Channel demonstrates their sleeping patterns but the way they sleep is kind of creepy. You generally don’t see a group of whales floating still and scientists indicate that they only sleep 10-15 minutes at a time at various moments throughout the day.
Watch sperm whales sleeping…
It may look like these whales drowned but they are very much alive, just asleep!
Why do sperm whales sleep vertically?
Scientists believe that sperm whales sleep vertically because it is the most energy-efficient position for them to rest. In the water, sperm whales have to expend a lot of energy to stay afloat. By sleeping in a vertical position, they can reduce their overall energy expenditure and consolidate their resources. Additionally, this position also allows them to more easily take in oxygen from the surface of the water when needed.
Sperm whales are believed to sleep for short periods of time, typically lasting around 15 minutes. During this time, they remain relatively still, although they may occasionally move their tails or fins to keep themselves upright.
Scientists are constantly learning new things about whales, sharks, and tons of other species in our oceans. The fact that sperm whales sleep vertically is mind-blowing and just another reason why nature is awesome.
Please share the fascinating way that sperm whales sleep with your friends and family.