Up to 20 metres
Krill, plankton and small schooling fish, squid
50-70 years (estimated)
Oh, you’re here as well? You didn’t follow me across Skjálfandi Bay, did you? No, I’d have noticed. Oh, I get it, you’re not here for me, the white-beaked dolphin. What are you waiting for then?
Wow – did you see that? What did just whoosh past? There again, so big and fast – that was probably a 50 km/h! Oh, I know now! Only one who can reach such speeds: the SEI WHALE, third largest of all whale species. Poor guys really, they’re so random in their doings and distribution, no-one knows much about or understands them – not even you humans!
Look at this long and sleek body, it seems dark bluish-grey. Wait, I peeked underwater, its body is pale underneath. These pals can grow up to 21 metres long by the way!
You’re so lucky to see this guy, though: they much rather spend their time in offshore waters, meaning far off the coast of Iceland. However, it doesn’t make the sei whale a deep diving species. Sometimes, they don’t even dive when foraging. Instead, they skim the water while swimming along the surface. That’s possible thanks to their baleen plates, which are so fine that they can skim feed on the surface with their mouth widely open, the upper jaw vertically up in the air. Oh, you got to check that out on YouTube, it looks so cool if they do so!
Hey, you might have a hard time believing this since you see them so rarely, but these dudes can be incredibly playful: they can jump out of the water, normally at a low angle and then they finish off their jump with a graceful belly flop!
You’re still waiting for it to come up again? I think it’s gone and slowly sank down beneath the surface after its last breath. Who knows where it comes back up after its 15 minutes dive – just think of its speed!
Oh, I got a fun fact for you before I leave you, too: ‘Sei’ is the Norwegian word for pollock! These fellows are named after the fish species as they arrive along the Norwegian coast at the same time of the year as the pollock!
Relative size to a human