There Are Whales Alive Today Who Were Born Before Moby Dick Was Written

By Ben • amazing tales, animals • 22 Jun 2013

Image by kkommineni

The Alaska Dispatch, in a story about the population rebound of bowhead whales noted (emphasis mine):

"Bowheads seem to be recovering from the harvest of Yankee commercial whaling from 1848 to 1915, which wiped out all but 1,000 or so animals. Because the creatures can live longer than 200 years — a fact George discovered when he found an old stone harpoon point in a whale — some of the bowheads alive today may have themselves dodged the barbed steel points of the Yankee whalers."

Moby Dick was written in 1851- a mere 162 years go- which means it's likely that there are several of those 1,000 or so whales are still alive from the time when Herman Melville was writing about his famous white whale.

The population of bowhead whales is estimated to be 14,000 to 15,000 animals, which is up from only 1,200 animals in 1978.

The Smithsonian Smart News notes, "None of the whales in Alaska, as far as we know, are white."

via allhomosapienswelcome, via The Smithsonian Smart News, via Alaska Dispatch.

Image by kkommineni

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