Changing Planet

One Hundredth “Whaling Wall” by Marine Artist Wyland Graces Washington’s National Mall


Marine life artist Wyland brought his 100th and final “Whaling Wall” mural to Washington, D.C., this week. It formed part of the festivities to celebrate the opening of the new ocean hall at the National Museum of Natural History.

Wyland created the “Hands Across the Oceans” mural on 54 giant canvasses in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Cultural Festival and the Green Olympics.

Images above and below of Wyland making earlier monumental Whaling Walls courtesy of the Wyland Foundation 


The mural depicts scenes from oceans, lakes, rivers and wetlands from all 205 Olympic countries. Local Chinese artists and more than 3,000 children contributed to the paintings over 14 days in a Beijing park.

Wyland has devoted more than a quarter of a century to raise awareness about marine life conservation and global water issues through his Whaling Walls. Most of them were painted on the sides of buildings in more than 70 cities around the world. It is estimated that at least a billion people have seen them.

Through his charity, the Wyland Foundation, the artist promotes the protection and preservation of oceans, waterways, and aquatic life. The foundation encourages environmental awareness through education programs, life-size public arts projects, and community events.

Wyland visited the National Geographic campus in Washington, D.C. yesterday then gave us his personal tour of the “Hands Across the Oceans” mural.

 Watch him on this video:


Video by Scott Lunt/NGS

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn

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