Hals Whale Jaws – Hals, Denmark - Atlas Obscura
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Hals, Denmark

Hals Whale Jaws

A small Denmark town displays a pair of titanic jaw bones as their community symbol. 

In the small town of Hals, Denmark there are two tall tall bones standing on one end of the town square. The bones, which once belonged to a massive Blue Whale, let visitors literally walk into a whale’s mouth.

The original whale, who “donated” its bones, was shot back in 1868 in the Barents Sea by Captain C. Klitgaard, a resident of Hals. After returning with his tragic-to-modern-sensibilities kill, the blue whale’s jaw bones were removed, bleached, and given a new life as a local landmark. These first jaws were destroyed in 1953 when a truck hit the fragile old bones. Sadly, the remains were not worth trying to save.

Luckily for them, the town did not have to continue without their beloved bones for long. A new jaw was donated to the city in 1955 by the consul of Sandefjord in Norway, Lars Christensen. The new jaw, which was taken from the largest animal in the world, the Blue Whale, dwarfed the previous mouthpieces. Judging from the size of the bones, the original creature is thought to have measured almost 100-feet long and weigh about 90 tons.

The new jaw still stands in the Hals town square, acting as an unofficial symbol for the town. They are a popular attraction, especially for children who are not burdened by any moral quandaries the bones might present, and who also find it fun to stand inside the mouth of a Blue Whale.