19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
An extraordinarily rare Antarctic blue whale

Several world-renowned marine life scientists were doing research in zodiacs in the Antarctica near our ship. They alerted the captain that a large blue whale was in the vicinity of the ship. The captain carefully moved the ship near to the whale and we followed it for about 1/2 hour. The whale was peacefully eating krill and was not disturbed by the presence of the ship. It was so big, perhaps over 100 feet in length, and so close to the ship, that it was necessary to use a wide angle lens to capture most of the whale. Some of the crew members had been to the Antarctic 30 times and none of them had ever seen a blue whale before. They were almost extinct due to whaling. Blue whales are the largest creatures, even larger than the biggest dinosaurs, to ever inhabit our planet. Its was majestic.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 02.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: na, Antarctica
Camera: X-H1
Copyright: © Steven Hannes