In , the whaling ship Essex, captained by George Pollard, was attacked and sunk by a gigantic sperm whale. The whale, which survivors claimed was around 26 meters (85 ft) in length, rammed the Essex twice, causing the crew of 20 to abandon ship in three lifeboats.
The story eventually helped inspire Herman Melville's novel, Moby-Dick, which describes a whaleship captain's self-destructive obsession with hunting down the white sperm whale that sank.
Melville got his inspiration for this whale's tale from a real-life horror story of the sinking of the whaling ship Essex, captained by George Pollard Jr. That ship was attacked and sunk by a Sperm whale, estimated to be about 85 feet long, in
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Essex, American whaling ship that was rammed by a sperm whale on November 20, , and later sank. Although all 20 crewmen initially survived, only 8 were rescued following an arduous journey that devolved into cannibalism.
The ton Essex was in pursuit of sperm whales, specifically the precious oil and bone that could be derived from them, when an enraged bull whale rammed the ship twice and capsized the vessel.
In , the whaleship Essex set sail from Nantucket, Massachusetts, heading south and around Cape Horn to the South Pacific, where, in , it was attacked and sunk by a sperm whale. The ship.
The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) or cachalot / ˈ k æ ʃ ə ˌ l ɒ t, ˈ k æ ʃ ə ˌ l oʊ / is the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed diocesisdecanarias.info is the only living member of genus Physeter and one of three extant species in the sperm whale family, along with the pygmy sperm whale and dwarf sperm whale of the genus Kogia. The sperm whale was prized for its oil. The oil was collected in two ways. It was collected from reservoirs in the animal's head. Another way was to heat large chunks of blubber in huge pots on the ship's deck. The oil melted from the blubber. The oil was collected in barrels and stored inside the ship. Whaling voyages could last three or.
The whale was spotted by Walter Thompson, a boy at the time, from the masthead of the Platina but the Platina's master, Thomas McKenzie, was incredulous that the all-white creature was a sperm whale but other crew members confirmed the spout and the boats were lowered away. Smalley later described the whale as being very large and old. Five young male sperm whales became stranded and eventually died in The Wash over the same weekend. Four were found on the Lincolnshire side and this one die.
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