Science: Captain Ahab Avenged

The title role in Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick is played by a white sperm whale that got one of Captain Ahab's legs—and eventually got the whole of him. Moby Dick himself escaped triumphantly, and flesh & blood whalers have claimed that nothing like him was ever harpooned before or since.

Last week the whale ship Anglo Norse put in at Elizabeth, N.J., with photographs of a real Moby Dick: an albino sperm whale harpooned off Peru several months ago by Gunner Henrik Nilsen. The whale was a 56-ton patriarch, all milky white with a bluish tinge around the tail. Gunner Nilsen...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!