Whales: Beneath the Surface

Natural History Museum

14 July 2017 – 28 February 2018

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Find out more about one of the world’s most mythologised creatures at this family-friendly exhibition, featuring more than 100 specimens from the museum's collection.

Whales: Beneath the Surface

From the mysteries of ambergris (a substance made by sperm whales) to the modern tale of the Thames whale, this large exhibition charts the evolutionary history and cultural significance of one of the planet’s most powerful mammals.

Interactive displays allow visitors to understand how whales sense and feed, test their ability to catch prey and even hear humpback whales sing (on a whale jukebox). Exhibits span the range of whale species, from the small harbour porpoise to the colossal blue whale. 

As well as looking at the history of the whale, including how they became sociable animals that can communicate over vast distances, the exhibition looks forward, considering the main challenges facing the whale today. 

On entrance to the Natural History Museum, visitors can also marvel at the 25-metre long skeleton of a blue whale, ‘Hope’, suspended from the ceiling of the newly reimagined Hintze Hall.

Venue information

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5.50pm

Closed 24 – 26 Dec

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)