A Whale of a Tale

This Sperm Whale has hung in the museum for over 100 years. It is Paper Mache on the outside and the actual skeleton is on the inside.

From the outside looking in

I’m sure you’ve heard it said when Actors have to co-star with children they find it hard to compete with the kids. Though I’m not an actor, I have found that the minute I walk into the museum with them and they see this whale, I immediately am upstaged by his presence.

So I have found it best that when giving them a tour I get the whale out-of-the-way by filling their little heads with some fun facts about this large leviathan.

From:  “The Book of Whales” I gleaned these morsels that they seem to enjoy:

  • Sperm Whale


  • The  Maximum length is 60 feet. “That is just 6 inches shy of the distance from the pitcher’s mound to the home plate in a baseball game.”


  •  Sperm Whales can talk to each other by clicking.  This way they can locate other whales that they can’t see.


  • Their sounds can be heard for miles by humans and further by other whales. They have a good sense of hearing.


  • It is thought that the sound might be because of unique structure of the head spermaceti organ in the nasal passage air sacs.


  • The time between clicks, is thought,  could measure the length of the whale.


  • The whales in the antarctic form herds around the full moon. (can you imagine getting a photo of that?)


  • Sperm Whales are the only ones with a gullet large enough to swallow a person. (I have to judge on this one whether or not to ask if they have heard of Jonah and the whale. It’s not always easy in these days to know if you are going to offend anyone by mentioning the bible.)


  • Moby Dick was an albino sperm whale.


  • The Sperm Whale can eat 5 to 20% of its body weight in one day.


  • Body weight can be around 70-90 thousand pounds. Can you imagine that there is that much marine life in the ocean to be eaten and still not deplete our seas?

Imagine yourself in the ocean with this eye watching your every move.

When finishing up on the tale of the whale I will add this story about the rescue of a whale and what was perceived to be a very heartwarming thank you. I want to put a little spark into the hearts of these children so that maybe they will have a caring attitude to such creatures as they grow older. I believe that it will warm your hearts too if you can take the time to read about it.


This link will take you to a video of an actual rescue of a whale in distress. This too will give you a warm and fuzzy feeling. Humpback-whale-says-thanks-after-being-freed-from-nets.




10 comments on “A Whale of a Tale

  1. Janice says:

    What a great post! I would love for you to show me the whale and tell me all your titbits of information! And the video / other story are so heartwarming. I’ve seen a few programmes on TV about dolphins and whales interacting with humans and can well imagine what a beautiful experience it would be. If a little scary, given the size of the whales!


  2. Sartenada says:

    Awesome post and photos also. I see that You prepared this post carefully. In my childhood, I have seen a whale in formalin.

    In live I have seen a whale in the Azores, may years ago also. Thank You for this interesting post.


  3. megtraveling says:

    Fantastic story Karen! I simply have to go to your museum the next time I’m there 🙂


  4. I would love, love to work there with you in paradise! Sounds like it is very rewarding.


  5. Very interesting, Karen. Good post! And guess what, we have a whale hanging from the roof at our local science museum too, about 100 years old. I don’t remember which species, but it is HUGE, and I think it is stuffed. It made that great impression when I was a kid. Haven’t been there for a while, should go soon..


    • It seems that your country and our island have so much in common. That whale has made an impression on children for generations. Adults returning to the museum for the first time since they were children will inevitably ask, “Is the whale still here?”

      The more things change the more they stay the same. Thanks for stopping by Bente.


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