Long-finned pilot whales in AkureyriOn Friday, 9 September, a group of Long-finned pilot whales were relaxingly playing in the fjord in front of the town of Akureyri. Much to the amusement and excitement of the locals, not least its many foreign visitors as tourism has been booming this summer, they relaxingly swam around very close to shore and did not allow the curiosity of the humans to disturb them as seen in the video and pictures.

The group consisted of 10-12 animals huddled together, constantly coming up for air, making strong blistering sounds doing so. Pilot whales as well as Northern Bottlenose whales have been seen in the area quite often this summer. The reason for the animals coming so close to town is unknown but the group on Friday seems to have young ones traveling with them so likely seeking food and shelter. Another known reasons for coming so far in the fjord is if the group includes an injured or sick animal as was the case when a group of Bottlenose whales visited at the end of August.


Small seal in AkureyriBut it was not only the humans the whales captured the attention of. At the same time, a small seal was swimming around in the same area. It seemed to be very watchful of the other animals and hovered around to keep a safe distance from them, still remaining very close and curious of the numerous people enjoying from the beach. The rock in the ocean that can be seen in the photo of the whales is the same rock that the seal is resting on in the image of the seal. Video and pictures were captured by Arctic Portal´s Fanney Sigrun Ingavdottir.

Watch the video of the whales

Watch the video of the seal


About the whale species:

The long-finned pilot whale is a large species of oceanic dolphin. It shares the genus Globicephala with the short-finned pilot whale. Long-finned pilot whales are known as such because of their unusually long pectoral fins. Wikipedia

Mass: 800 kg (Adult)

Length: 5.7 m (Adult)

Trophic level: Carnivorous

Gestation period: 16 months

Scientific name: Globicephala melas

Family: Delphinidae

Order: Artiodactyla


The northern bottlenose whale is a species of beaked whale in the ziphiid family, being one of two members of the genus Hyperoodon. The northern bottlenose whale was hunted heavily by Norway and Britain in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Wikipedia

Mass: 4,900 kg (Adult) 

Length: 8.8 m (Adult)

Trophic level: Carnivorous

Gestation period: 12 months

Scientific name: Hyperoodon ampullatus

Family: Ziphiidae

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