Published February 17, 2017
What were the oceans around Iceland like during Napoleon Bonaparte’s first reign in France? You could always ask a Bowhead Whale. They can live up to 211 years. Imagine that, what was the world like in 1806? Unfortunately, you can’t talk to whales–even though each Common Bottlenose Dolphin has an individual call or greeting. There is so much to learn about our cousins in the sea and Iceland’s connection to its whale population.
Whales have played a role in the collective imagination of humans for years, but how much do you know about these mammals of the ocean? Iceland is home to twenty-three of the approximately ninety species of whale on earth. Whales are as integral a part to understanding Iceland as the northern lights, geothermal energy or, even, elves.
Let’s test your knowledge.
The Whales Of Iceland Museum wants to see if you can answer these seven questions (ANSWERS BELOW).
1. Of the twenty-three species of whale that finds its home around Iceland, one is the largest animal ever to exist–weighing up to 190 tons and growing to 33 metres in length! What species of whale is it?
A) Humpback Whale B) Sei Whale
C) Blue Whale D) Beluga
2. Only old or immature whales of this species are found around Iceland. This species is also the inspiration for the white whale in the classic novel “Moby Dick.” What species of whale is it?
A) White-Beaked Dolphin B) Sperm Whale
C) North-Atlantic Right Whale D) Blainville’s Beaked Whale
3. Fossil records and DNA evidence have revealed a curious fact about the closest living relative to whales on the evolutionary family tree. What animal is this?
A) Red Panda B) Walrus
C) Human D) Hippopotamus
4. The male Narwhal, and some females, have a spiral tusk and live approximately 52 years. How long are their spiral tusks on average?
A) 2-3 metres B) Less than 1 metre
C) 4-5 metres D) Narwhals don’t have tusks
5. Of the twenty-three species of whale around Iceland, what species is the fastest at 28 miles per hour?
A) Bowhead Whale B) Sowerby’s Beaked Whale
C) Long Finned Pilot Whale D) Fin Whale
6. For this species of whale, the grandmother leads the pod. What species of whale is it?
A) Killer Whale / Orca B) Cuvier’s Beaked Whale
C) Minke Whale D) Northern Bottlenose Whale
7. The Humpback Whale is said to have its own “fingerprint.” What unique quality helps you identify individual Humpback Whales?
A) Each individual makes a unique noise B) Each individual has unique marks on its fluke
C) Each individual has unique belly patterns D) Each individual has unique eyebrows
That wasn’t too hard was it (Answers Below)?
There is always something new to learn about Iceland’s whale population.
The Whale Museum Of Iceland invites you to explore and discover all you can about these giants of the deep. With interactive displays, virtual reality and life-size models, you can walk through the largest whale exhibition in Europe.
Book your pass today at www.whalesoficeland.is
Answers: 1. C 2. B 3. D 4. A 5. D 6. A 7. B