How do you weigh a 190 ton whale swimming at sea?

500 years ago, Luong Luong The Vinh solved the elephant weight puzzle of the Minh porcelain by dragging an elephant into a boat and measuring the water line. Now, to solve the puzzle to weigh a living whale, what would you do?

The anecdote tells about Luong The Vinh (1441-1496) as follows: the Dinh examination in the fourth Quang Thuan year, the reign of Le Thanh Tong (1463) Luong The Vinh passed on the poinsettia, then he was sent to Minh, Chu Hy .

Zhou Hy worked out the problem of calculating an elephant's weight. Luong The Vinh let the elephant down the boat and then marked the edge of the boat when the weight was weighed down. He then ordered the elephant to be lifted up and dumped rocks into the boat until the boat sank to the right marked water mark. Finally, put each stone on the scale and add the results to weigh the elephant.

This story not only shows the intelligence of Luong The Vinh but also shows how to simply measure a large object.

Picture 1 of How do you weigh a 190 ton whale swimming at sea?
Who can put a giant whale alive on a scale?(Photo: Fredrik Christiansen).

But it is an elephant on land, although large, people can still lead it into the boat. What about giant animals like whales?

Definitely not slicing each piece of meat out to weigh and adding each piece. Until now it was only possible to estimate the amount of whales when they died and washed ashore on the beach.

Answering the question "how to weigh a living whale" , Professor and researcher Fredrik Christiansen from the Aarhus Advanced Research Institute (Denmark) said it is necessary to use a drone to take pictures. .

Fredrik Christiansen's team in collaboration with the Southern Whale Health Monitoring Program in Argentina and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in the United States developed a model that accurately calculates the weight and body weight of wild whales. wild.

Body mass is an important factor to ensure the survival of whales as a group. It determines their energy use, food needs and growth rates.

However, most of what we know about the body size of whales often comes from old scientific documents or records of whales trapped on the beach.

Using drones, scientists have taken pictures of whales emerging on the water to breathe. The whale will then show its back and sides. From there get measurements of the length, width and height of the animal. Finally, calculate the dimensional conversion of dimensions to weight and body volume.

According to Professor Fredrik Christiansen, calculating the body weight of wild whales will help with scientific research and capture the development of this species.

This method is also applied on many other marine animals to assess the health, ability to survive fever and develop conservation methods.

Whale is the common name for the group of marine animals in the whale. Horned whales (including blue whales, bull whales, humpback whales) are the largest animals on Earth. An adult blue whale can weigh up to 190,000 kg.

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