Whales: Beneath the surface

An illustration of a whale
  • 14 July - 28 February

  • South Kensington

Go beneath the waves to explore the extraordinary lives of whales.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 'A giant success.' – Londonist

Dive through one of the world's most compelling evolutionary journeys in this family exhibition.

More than 100 specimens from the Museum's collection will be on display together for the first time, from parts of a colossal blue whale to a small harbour porpoise.

Explore whales, dolphins and porpoises' extraordinary adaptations to their underwater environments, and learn how they are similar to us.

Travel back 50 million years to the beginning of the evolution of the whale. See how whales became sociable, aquatic mammals, some of which can communicate over vast distances.


10 things to do at Whales: Beneath the surface

1. test your ability to catch prey in an interactive game

2. compare your hand to a whale flipper

3. find out the secret to swimming like a whale

4. see how large whales grow 

5. understand how whales sense and feed

6. hear humpback whales sing with the whale jukebox

7. see what lies inside a sperm whale stomach

8. learn how whales evolved and see how their ancestors used to walk on land

9. discover how deep some whales can dive

10. get up close to the Thames whale

Richard Sabin, whale expert at the Museum, says, 'Whales are incredibly mysterious and complex creatures, and the giants of the seas.
'This exhibition brings you face to face with some of the world’s most impressive whale specimens, and shows how we are starting to understand and answer the biggest challenges facing whales today.'


Braille books and large-print guides are available in the exhibition.

Other access provisions can be made available with advance notice.

Find out more about accessing the Museum.

  • On the door

    Adult £12.50

    Child and concession £8.50

    Family £32.50 – £42.50 



    Adult £11.50

    Child and concession £7.50

    Family £29.50 – £39.50


    Free for MembersPatrons, children under four and Disability Personal Assistants.

See the exhibition for free

Become a Member and enjoy free entry to all exhibitions, discounts in our cafes and shops, and access to exclusive events.

Win a whale watching trip

Enter the free prize draw to be in with a chance of winning the trip of a lifetime to Atlantic Canada.



Bring the family to Whales: Beneath the surface