The Myth of Moby Dick the Sperm Whale

by: Davis Yancy Clegg


Sperm Whales


Everyone loves a good story. The depth and detail at which are the true storytellers of their time would go the distance to find the point where things come “full circle” was staggering. Men and their voices and so on. These fire-side stories became lore. Then, lore became fiction. Fiction begets superstition like no other trigger could advocate. Now, you’re emotionally invested in the hero or villain of your current story. In common fashion, the masses all tend to end up cheering for the sure thing, our story’s hero. Emerging and barely nicked from his opponent’s noble, but inadequate blow. It just doesn’t work without a villain. Everyone loves a monster. The sperm whales’ size brought its species attention from writers looking for a monster. With no trouble and much haste, they would soon find their deep blue dwelling character study. Shortly after, the Sperm whale was seen to be – bluntly said – a murderous mammal. If living among the same peers, in the same time, you attended the release of Moby Dick’s first edition publishing, what might your initial reaction have been. And what do we even know about this monster of the abyss?

Stranded Sperm WhaleWhile life beneath the blue is typically quite diverse, we find there is one very significant similarity in the biological study of whales. Like the beloved dolphin, the sperm whale possesses the ability of echolocation. Also like the dolphin, it serves the same purpose. Only, instead of an unsuspecting little fish getting inhaled in a dolphin feeding ground, this fish can reach upwards of sixty feet in length. The average adult male is about 55 feet and registers about 47 tons on the scale. You might also notice; the sperm whale’s shape doesn’t resemble a single sperm pictured in our eighth grade Science text book. Unfortunately, the most recent knowledge we have acquired pertains to the condition of the whale’s environment. Given that its habitat is one that just happens to cover all but 29% of the entire planet, there is some cause for concern. When a whale autopsy – or necropsy – has been performed on research relevant whales, many results have shown they died of starvation in more cases than not. The stomachs of the sperm whales had been filled with all sorts of plastic items. Ranging from water bottles to car mirrors, this plastic is indigestible. Therefore, the biological pathways of communication are telling the whale that there is no room for food.

When it comes to the fundamental survival, things are far less complex beneath the surface of the deep. Rational thinking, we humans reserve only for ourselves. There are about 200,000 whales – give or take – left in the world. They are listed endangered but populations have begun to steadily rise. Researchers and Marine Scientists are cooperating on a global scale to see these marvels of the deep flourish once again.

Accounting for over 96% of all water on earth (which is more than 2/3 covering the earth), pollutants will eventually lead to our own demise. Luckily, we are a headstrong population and are fortunate enough to have an endlessly-involved volunteer base in our local communities. Find out how you can become a part of the action, no matter where you call your habitat!

The Amelia River Cruise Shrimping Eco-Tours are an excellent place to learn of the biological monsoon that exists in our planet’s oceans.


Check it out this summer!




Tags: ,

Comments are closed.