‘Imagine if about 25,000 cardboard boxes each contained one three-toed sloth’ says documentary narrator struggling to convey size of blue whale

Humor by Prateek Joshi
April 5, 2021, 7:44 p.m.

According to viewers of the Discovery Channel’s latest hit documentary on whales, renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough was having a really tough time properly conveying the sheer enormousness of blue whales.

“Imagine if about 25,000 cardboard boxes each contained one three-toed sloth,” Attenborough explained, providing a perplexing analogy for an adult blue whale’s weight that almost nobody, even a sloth expert, could relate to. “To put it more simply, that’s around 20,000 boxes each housing a two-toed sloth. Simply amazing, isn’t it?”

Attenborough proceeded to ditch the familiar scientific units of “number of school buses” to discuss the length of the largest animal known to have ever existed on Earth. “Close your eyes for a second and picture approximately 10 Andean condors lined up next to each other with fully outstretched wingspans,” Attenborough narrated, not realizing that that very few people were capable of picturing any regular bird, let alone an Andean condor, with an outstretched wingspan.

Attenborough concluded the segment on blue whales by marveling at how these absolutely humongous creatures required a heart about 16 times as heavy as a mountain beaver’s brain.

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine, and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Prateek, a former editor-in-chief of Brown University’s satirical newspaper (The Brown Noser), signed with the Stanford Daily’s satire section in free agency. He also had one glorious month-long stint contributing headlines to The Onion, none of which were published. Feel free to send him article suggestions and harsh criticism at pjoshi2 ‘at’ stanford.edu. His favorite hobby is getting an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Class of 2021), focusing on sustainable energy systems. When he’s not satirizing, he’s fervently searching for whoever had the nerve to claim the “pjoshi1” email username.

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