Size: up to 27 metres
Weight: up to 120 tonnes
Speed: 39 km/hour
The blue whale is the largest animal known to have lived, even bigger than the largest dinosaurs. It’s fluke (tail) is as wide as a football net (eight metres) and it’s length can reach the equivalent of seven volkswagen Beetles lined up together. Also, the mouth of a blue whale is big enough to park a car in it.
Blue whales are long and slender. They have very unique mottling on their bodies, spots and blotches of different shapes and colours. Scientists use these patterns to identify individuals.
The travelling pattern of blue whales is characterised by rapid sprints, while they can dwell in restricted areas for several days, most likely for food gathering. Few blue whales have been satellite tagged in Icelandic waters to study their migrating pattern, see for example blue whale 1 in 2014 and blue whale 2 in 2014.
Blue whales are most commonly seen on whale watching tours from north Iceland in late spring and early summer (April/May to August/September) although they’ve also sometimes been seen on tours from west of Iceland (Snæfellsnes peninsula/Ólafsvík) and in autumn south of Iceland (Reykjanes peninsula/Grindavík).