Where Whales Come From

Whales. They are the largest and loudest, swim the fastest, have the biggest brains and live the deepest of all animals known to us humans. Today, we know countless interesting facts about whales.

Whales at stage one

Whales’ ancestors evolved from mammals which returned to the sea, 55 million years ago. Many whale species still have small bones in the back of their bodies, which now serve no purpose. They are located where their ancestors’ back limbs used to be and are great evidence of evolution.

Whales become whales

A million years later, The North American and Eurasian continental plates began drifting apart, opening up the northeast Atlantic Ocean. This became the home of baleen whales, a species that emerged 38 million years ago when;

  • Earth’s climate cooled
  • Ocean currents changed
  • Food sources became more abundant

Again, ocean currents changed drastically 2.3 million years ago. A 1,500-year cooling and warming cycle began and only the most tolerant species survived – whales among them.

Whales today

Fast forward to 2018 and you find 20 baleen and toothed whale species around Iceland. Iceland’s position over the North Atlantic Rift and the three powerful ocean currents which meet here provide excellent conditions for magical life in our oceans.

Whales at Perlan

Those incredible creatures are true Wonders of Iceland – and now come alive at Perlan. Get up close & personal with them and the rest of Iceland’s underwater community at Perlan’s:

  • Virtual aquarium
  • Interactive screens with interesting & fun facts
  • Informative & entertaining reads

Book your adventure today or on arrival.

Photos by: Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson

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