As humans, we like to think of ourselves as big and bad, but we've got nothing on whales. Whales are fully aquatic marine mammals and the blue whale is the largest mammal alive today. Whales belong in the cetacea order, alongside dolphins and porpoises. Their closest living relatives that are not in the cetacea order are hippopotamuses. There are eight extant families of whales: rorquals, right whales, pygmy right whales, grey whales, beluga/narwhals, sperm whales, dwarf/pygmy sperm whales and beaked whales.
Although there are over 90 species of whales, there are quite a few who stick out from the pack. Narwhals, for instance, are a medium-sized toothed whale that are known for their large, protruding canine tooth. Sperm whales are the largest toothed predator on Earth and their waxy sperm oil was the prime target of the whaling industry. Humpback whales are one of the most popular whales for whale watching, as they're known for breaching. Beluga whales are the cutest of whales and the only whale that's white in nature. Blue whales are the largest animal that's ever existed (that we know of) and their diet primarily consists of krill. Killer whales, also known as orcas, aren't whales at all—they're dolphins!
Whales have been depicted frequently in literature, television and film, particularly in cartoons. After all, how else would you film one of these big boys? Some of our favorite whales from popular culture include Bailey the beluga from "Finding Dory," Monstro the blue whale from "Pinocchio," Moby Dick the sperm whale from "Moby Dick" and Mr. Narwhal the narwhal from "Elf."
Take a peek at 75 of our favorite whale tattoos in the gallery below. Then let us know your favorite whale in the comments section on social media.