Humpback whale flukes

Throughout our whale watch season, many different humpback whale individuals come to feed in Skjálfandi Bay. Some might stay for just some hours, others for days and even weeks. Some might actually return year over year.

Whilst you're on a tour with us to observe these majestic animals, your tour guide is likely to point out to you how all of them look different.

In fact, humpback whales can be distinguished and identified by the black and white patterns on the underside of their flukes, the tail. These patterns are like our fingerprints: unique!

In short, no two humpback whales will ever have an identical pattern.

Scroll through the photos - I'm sure you'll spot some differences in all of them! 

In all those years, the research center in Húsavík has been identifying these animals, trying to collect as much individuals and data as possible. Whilst in fact the resight rate is pretty high, the catalogue is filling up with more and more new individuals annually.

However, even as a passenger and visitor to our beloved Skjálfandi Bay, you're able to take part in research, collect and share data with others. If you were on a tour with us and managed to get photos of the tail patterns of the whale(s) you saw, you're able to submit these photos on a platform called HappyWhale. And you're not only helping research, but you might even be able to find our more about the individual(s) you saw: Have they been spotted elsewhere? Where did they spend the winter and which route did they take to get to their feeding grounds? Or is it a new sighting maybe?

If you're curious to find out more about the humpback(s) you observed with us, check out happywhale.com and keep track of "your whales"!

- Sarah





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