What Is the Whale Called at the Natural History Museum?

Have you ever been to the Natural History Museum in London? If you have, you might have seen the gigantic blue whale skeleton that is suspended from the ceiling of the Hintze Hall.

But have you ever wondered what this whale is called? In this article, we will explore the history and significance of the whale at the Natural History Museum.

The Blue Whale

The whale at the Natural History Museum is a female blue whale, which is the largest animal on Earth. Blue whales can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh as much as 200 tons!

They are found in all of the world’s oceans and were hunted almost to extinction in the early 1900s. Today, there are estimated to be around 10,000-25,000 blue whales left in the wild.

The History of the Whale at the Natural History Museum

The blue whale skeleton that hangs in Hintze Hall has been on display at the museum since 1934. The whale was found dead on a beach in Wexford, Ireland in March 1891.

It was then bought by William Armstrong, a wealthy industrialist who donated it to the museum. The skeleton was cleaned and assembled by a team of workers over an eight-year period before being put on display.

In 2017, after nearly four decades hanging over visitors’ heads, Dippy – a dinosaur cast named for its resemblance to Diplodocus – was replaced with an actual skeleton of a blue whale.

Why Is It Significant?

The blue whale skeleton at the Natural History Museum serves as a reminder of what can happen when humans exploit natural resources without consideration for their impact on other species and ecosystems. Blue whales were hunted almost to extinction for their blubber, which was used for oil lamps and soap. The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, but many whale populations have yet to fully recover.

Seeing the sheer size of the blue whale skeleton in person is also a humbling experience. It is one thing to read about the largest animal on Earth, but it is another thing entirely to stand underneath its bones and truly comprehend its size and power.


The blue whale at the Natural History Museum is more than just a fascinating exhibit – it is a symbol of humanity’s impact on the natural world and a reminder of what we stand to lose if we do not take responsibility for our actions. If you ever have the chance to visit the museum, be sure to take some time to marvel at this incredible creature and reflect on its significance.