See Like a Whale - New Bedford Whaling Museum

See Like a Whale

​How Do Whales See?

Whales' eyes are on the sides of their heads. Each eye sees a separate view. This type of vision is called monocular vision. In this activity, you will find out what it's like to have monocular vision.



  • 2 hand held mirrors


  • See the world through the eyes of a whale and understand why they can easily get entangled in fishing gear and other ocean debris.

Guiding Questions

  • What advantage does a whale have by seeing out both sides?
  • What disadvantage does a whale have by not being able to see straight in front?


  1. Hold the two mirrors back to back.
  2. Rest the two back-to-back mirrors on your nose
  3. Slowly separate the far edges of the mirrors slightly, keeping the edges closest to the face together, to create a peripheral view.
  4. Observe what you see! Is it different or the same as what you can see in front of you? Can you see anything in front of you?
  5. Think About It