Why the whale?
Blue whales are one of the most remarkable species on the planet.
They are the largest animals ever to have lived, but we are only just getting a clear idea of how these elusive creatures behave.
Skeletons like this are vital for understanding life in the ocean. When this whale beached in 1891, the villagers who found it referred to it as a sea monster.
But every year, new fossil discoveries and DNA evidence are providing insight into how whales evolved and live.
Hanging in Hintze Hall, this specimen is suspended in the centre of the Museum. It is surrounded by millions of other specimens that represent the Museum's key focus: researching the origins of life on Earth, the diversity of life, and making the future sustainable.
Scientists are researching specimens in these collections to better understand the natural world and its history.