A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

How deep is whale shit?

October 4, 1974

Dear Cecil:

Regarding the expression "deeper than whale shit," just how deep is whale shit? What would be the weight of the average bowel movement of the world's largest whale?

Dear Lar:

Whale excrement is largely liquid in consistency and thus, like Top 40 radio and other effluvia, has little substance and no depth. The world's largest whales are blue whales, and these excrete a minimum of 2 percent of their body weight — about three tons — each day.

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