With the scientific name of Megaptera novaeangliae, which means “big-winged New Englander,” the humpback whale got its bird-like name due to its massive pectoral fins that can measure up to 15 feet (4.6 m). The reason this whale was dubbed a “New Englander” is that the New England region was the most well known in Europe at the time the species was named.
One of the most popular marine mammals with tourists, the humpback whale is famous for its aquatic displays including breaching and lobtailing.
Despite their scientific name, humpback whales are actually found around the world, not just in the waters of the North Atlantic. In fact, there are 14 distinct humpback whale populations scattered across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.