Laguna Beach is home to spectacular sights. One of those is a visit from a minke whale. Just this week, a minke whale breached 11 times off the shore of Laguna Beach.

What’s Special About a Minke?

Minkes are part of the baleen whale family. And, they are the smallest of the rorquals. The scientific name for minkes is Balaenoptera acutorostrata. That means winged whale with a sharp snout. The name “minke” comes from the amateur whale spotter from Norway named Meincke, who actually is believed to have mistaken the minke for a blue whale.

This beautiful species can be as long as 35 feet and weigh up to 20,000 lbs. So, even though they are on the small side for whales, they are still pretty big. Their body is dark with a white underbelly and they have a pale chevron on their back behind their head but above their flippers. The calves are just a bit darker than their full-grown counterparts.