Fin whale underwater. The fin whale is the second longest and sixth most massive animal ever, reaching lengths of 88 feet, Balaenoptera physalus

Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) underwater photo, full body shot, note distinctive white coloration on the right side of the whales rostrum.

Fin whale underwater. The fin whale is the second longest and sixth most massive animal ever, reaching lengths of 88 feet, Balaenoptera physalus

Fin whale underwater photograph. Note the thickness of the caudal stem, one of the world's most massive assemblages of musculature that drives its huge fluke up and down and powers it through the ocean on its epic travels.

Fin whale underwater.  The fin whale is the second longest and sixth most massive animal ever, reaching lengths of 88 feet, Balaenoptera physalus, La Jolla, California

Fin Whale Underwater, La Jolla

Fin Whale, Aerial Photo, Baja California, Balaenoptera physalus

Fin Whale, Aerial Photo, Baja California

Fin whale underwater.  The fin whale is the second longest and sixth most massive animal ever, reaching lengths of 88 feet, Balaenoptera physalus, La Jolla, California

A gigantic fin whale passes just above and next to me through the open ocean, the tip of its enormous fluke just a foot or two from the lens of my camera. If the whale wanted to, it could have squashed me like a little bug.

Fin whale dorsal fin.  The fin whale is named for its tall, falcate dorsal fin.  Mariners often refer to them as finback whales.  Coronado Islands, Mexico (northern Baja California, near San Diego), Balaenoptera physalus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

Fin Whale, Coronado Islands

A fin whale blows at the surface between dives.  Coronado Islands, Mexico (northern Baja California, near San Diego), Balaenoptera physalus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

Fin Whale, Coronado Islands

Fin Whale, defecating red krill waste from recent feeding, Aerial Photo, Baja California, Balaenoptera physalus

Fin Whale Defecating, Aerial Photo, Baja California

Fin whale underwater. The fin whale is the second longest and sixth most massive animal ever, reaching lengths of 88 feet, Balaenoptera physalus

Fin Whale Underwater

Fin whale underwater.  The fin whale is the second longest and sixth most massive animal ever, reaching lengths of 88 feet, Balaenoptera physalus, La Jolla, California

Fin Whale Underwater, La Jolla