You may have read or heard about Herman Melville’s book and the whale character named Moby Dick at some point. But did you know the horrific events that followed the sinking of the whaling ship, Essex?
Poster For The 1976 Moby Dick Movie
To most of us, we regard whales as extremely large and docile creatures that have evolved to feed on plankton. These gentle giants swim around in the Earth’s waters and do not harm humans in any way. However, 19th-century literature tells a strange tale; a whale out for revenge.
Could a whale be out there bent on settling an old score?
Whales harbor large complex brains, states Dr. Richard Bevan, a zoologist, and lecturer at Newcastle University. He goes further to add that; a sperm whale can recall incidences of provocation as in harpooning and thus would
The Gray Whale resisted capture so much that whalers named it “Devilfish.”
A Gray Whale In Captivity (Photo: Marine Mammal Commission/Wikimedia. Public Domain)
The Gray Whale is a medium-sized baleen whale and the only surviving member of its genus and family. This species is a migratory animal that travels annually between its feeding and breeding grounds.
These whales have a hump and a ridge of sharp bumps running down their backs rather than a dorsal fin. They also prefer to stay close to shore – feeding in shallow waters.
The common name, Gray Whale, comes from the contrasting gray patches and white mottling on its dark colored skin. The white patches are the result of barnacles and lice that have attached themselves to the whales’ skins. In
Whale Hunting thrived for many centuries and should have ended completely by now.
A MInke Whale: This Is One Of The Species Of Whale That Is Still Hunted To Date. (Courtesy: NOAA/Wiki Commons, P.D.)
Whale hunting or whaling, is the practice of hunting whales for the various products we can get from their bodies.
This may sound like a pretty tame endeavor without too much implications. After all, whales are so large. For instance, the blue whale grows up to almost 100 feet and 200 tons. So, you may assume that killing a few of them may not be too much of a problem.
Well, prepare to be shocked.
Statistics tell us that when whale hunting was at its peak the blue whale, for example, dropped from about 200,000 to just a few thousand individuals. And that’s just for the blue whale.