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The Fin Whale

The weight of eight double decker buses
One of Cambridge's iconic landmarks. As you enter the museum you will be standing under our largest specimen, a 21 metre long Fin Whale. It is the second largest species of whale in the world and when alive would have weighed 80 tonnes, the same as eight double decker buses.
The whale hanging in the new Whale Hall 2017.

The whale is back

The whale is back at the Museum of Zoology in Cambridge. Come and stand under the whale in its new, purpose built, glass entrance hall.   The 21 metre (70ft) Fin Whale skeleton had been in storage for 4 years, during the building programme.   It was one of the first exhibits to return to the museum, ahead of the re-opening. It was first on public display 150 years ago at the Central Cricket Ground in Hastings, where visitors were charged a sixpence admission fee.

The museum has owned the whale since 1866, the year after it was washed up dead in Pevensey Bay in Sussex. The Fin Whale is the second largest species of whale, after the Blue Whale. When alive it is thought it would have weighed about 80 tonnes, the equivalent of eight double decker buses. The re-hanging process took two people around four weeks, due to its enormous size and weight.

Museum staff and specialist installers spent many weeks putting the whale back together and hanging it in its new home, the Whale Hall.

Left to right: Phil Rye, Dr Adrian Friday, Paula McPhee, Nigel Larkin, Matt Lowe

The whale was hung at the old Museum of Zoology, which was on the same site as the new museum today. Find out more ...

The whale in the original Museum of Zoology
See how the whale was packed away before the re-development