Which whale is named for a Norwegian whaler who made a big mistake?


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Sometimes a mistake is never forgotten and such is the legend of how the name for the minke whales began. Minke whales are divided into species: Northern or Common Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and the Antarctic Minke Whale
(Balaenoptera bonaerensis). The origin of the name has been credited to a novice Norwegian sailor named Meincke (no first name could be found) who was on a whaling mission and mistook a Northern Minke Whale for a Blue Whale. Each time his colleagues would see a Northern Minke Whale afterward they would kid their fellow sailor about his mistake by saying “thar blows another of Meincke’s whales.”

Both the common minke whale and the Antarctic minke whale are the smallest of the rorqual whales.