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.

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.


Exhibition highlights include:

  • full skeletons revealing the secret to swimming like a whale
  • skulls, including that of a pygmy right whale, showing how whales sense and feed
  • organs showing how whales breathe and digest food, including a sperm whale stomach
  • a flipper from a blue whale
  • an immersive experience showing how some whales, dolphins and porpoises sense their prey using sound
  • the chance to compare your hand to a whale flipper
'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.' - Richard Sabin, whale expert at the Museum.

See Whales by night

Open late on the last Friday of the month. Learn more about Lates.


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

    Disabled concession £8.50

    Family £32.50



    Adult £11.50

    Child and concession £7.50

    Disabled concession £7.50

    Family £30


    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.

Dive deeper

This exhibition starts an extended series of marine-themed events at the Museum.

Explore the power and mystery of the ocean.

Learn more about whales and dolphins

Bring the family to Whales: Beneath the surface