Is the Blue Whale at the Natural History Museum Real?

The blue whale is one of the most majestic and fascinating creatures on Earth. It’s no wonder that people are often curious about the famous Blue Whale exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London.

But is the blue whale at the museum real? Let’s take a closer look.

History of the Blue Whale Exhibit

The Blue Whale exhibit at the Natural History Museum has been a popular attraction since it first opened in 1938. The exhibit features a life-sized model of a blue whale, which measures 25 meters long and weighs over 10 tons.

Is the Blue Whale Real?

The short answer is no, the blue whale at the Natural History Museum is not real. The exhibit features a model of a blue whale made from fiberglass, not an actual preserved specimen.

Why Isn’t There a Real Blue Whale on Display?

Preserving a real blue whale for display would be incredibly difficult and expensive. Blue whales are endangered species, and obtaining one for display purposes would be highly controversial.

Additionally, even if it were possible to obtain a deceased blue whale, preserving it would be extremely challenging. Blue whales can weigh up to 200 tons and are too large to fit in any museum exhibit hall.

The Making of the Model

While the blue whale at the museum isn’t real, creating an accurate representation of one was no easy feat. The model was created by sculptor Percy Metcalfe and based on extensive research into blue whales’ anatomy and behavior.

The model was built from fiberglass and steel framework using molds taken from actual blue whales that had washed up on beaches around Britain.

The Impact of the Exhibit

Despite not being real, the Blue Whale exhibit has had a significant impact on visitors to the Natural History Museum over the years. It serves as an important educational tool for teaching people about the incredible size and behavior of these magnificent creatures.


In summary, while the Blue Whale exhibit at the Natural History Museum may not be real, it is still an impressive and educational display. The model serves as a reminder of the beauty and importance of blue whales and the need for conservation efforts to protect them.