World Whale Day

World Whale Day is a holiday that falls on the third Sunday in February and celebrates one of the most majestic creatures ever to grace the ocean. Whales are a diverse group of fully aquatic marine mammals that include orcas, sperm, humpback, beluga, blue, bowhead, gray, and short-finned pilot whales, among others.

They can range in size from a few thousand pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds. They’re an important part of our ocean’s ecosystem, and their extinction would be disastrous to the Earth.

The presence of whales in the ocean is responsible for the oxygen that we breathe, helps to combat climate change, and helps to maintain fish stocks. And that’s why it’s important for all of us to support whales, and everyone can start by observing this holiday when it comes around.

The History of World Whale Day

World Whale Day began in 1980 in Maui, Hawaii. The original intent of this holiday was to honor the humpback whales that would swim off Hawaii’s coast. It was the brainchild of the founder of the Pacific Whale Foundation, Greg Kaufman, to raise awareness about the possible extinction of humpback whales.

Although this holiday is still observed for that purpose and is a part of the Maui Whale Festival, people all over the world also celebrate it to help protect other whale species as well.

Some Cool Facts About Whales

Now that we’re celebrating World Whale Day, we think that it’s time for all of us to learn some cool facts about these majestic aquatic sea creatures. Below are some of the facts that we’ve learned about whales that we feel everyone will appreciate.

  • The blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived. It grows to over 90 feet and can weigh as much as 330,000 pounds. That’s the weight of 24 elephants.
  • Scientists believe that bowhead whales can live for more than 200 years.
  • Every year, gray whales travel about 10,000 miles as they migrate.

Observing World Whale Day

Every year, people gather in Hawaii for the Maui Whale Festival, a free event that includes people in costumes and floats. This event also has music and children’s events, so it’s something the whole family can enjoy while celebrating these majestic sea creatures. Of course, people don’t have to fly all the way to Hawaii to observe this holiday.

They can also use the day to learn more about whales, support organizations that are working to protect whales, or simply spread the news about this holiday using the hashtag #WorldWhaleDay on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
February 18 Sunday
Next year (2025)
February 16 Sunday
Last year (2023)
February 19 Sunday