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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Blue Whale – Natural History Museum, London

Blue Whale - Natural History Museum, London - Joy of Museums

Blue Whale

This skeleton of a Blue Whale represents the largest animal known to have ever existed and yet one that feeds on only the smallest animals. Its diet consists almost exclusively of small crustaceans known as krill. This female Blue Whale skeleton has been named Hope by the museum, as a symbol of humanity’s power to shape a sustainable future. It is one of the first species that humans decided to save on a global scale. Consisting of 221 bones, it is hung in the lifelike diving lunge feeding position.

This marine mammal can grow up to 29.9 metres (98 ft) in length and with a largest recorded weight of 173 tonnes (190 short tons). Long and slender, the blue whale’s body is various shades of bluish-grey dorsally and somewhat lighter colour underneath. Blue whales were abundant in nearly all the oceans on Earth until the beginning of the twentieth century. For over a century, they were hunted almost to extinction by whalers until protected by the international community in 1966.

Exploring Natural History Museums


  • Named Hope by the museum, as a symbol of humanity’s power to shape a sustainable future. How are we doing?

Blue Whale

  • Title:            Blue Whale
  • Species:       Balaenoptera musculus
  • Length:       29.9 metres (98 ft)
  • Weight:       173 tonnes (190 short tons)
  • Museum:      Natural History Museum, London


“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
– Albert Einstein


Photo Credit: 1) JOM