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19 November 2020

The Sperm Whale That Inspired Moby Dick

This November, it is 200 years since an enormous male sperm whale famously turned on a group of American whalers, ramming their ship, the Essex, and sinking it. 

News of the event shocked the world. It also inspired author Herman Melville to write his famous book about a whaler and his crew who try to hunt a rare white sperm whale - Moby Dick.

No one can know for sure why the whale did what he did, though it is easy to imagine his hurt and rage at the human hunters’ violently attacked his fellow whales. We do know that sperm whales are very sociable and very clever and that they care for one another.

sperm whale

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