sperm whale

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Gross Find Will Make 3 Fishermen Very Rich

They roped in a huge chunk of whale vomit in Oman

(Newser) - Three fisherman in Oman have found 176 pounds of precious ambergris—a substance that is essentially whale vomit but highly prized by the perfume industry. Seeker reports that the ambergris could be worth as much as $2.8 million. "I’ll wait to see how this sale will go... More »

Today's Sperm Whales Descended From One 'Eve'

An ancient whale appears to be the mother of all modern sperm whales

(Newser) - While investigating samples of toxic levels of heavy metals found in sperm whales, researchers stumbled upon a surprising discovery: All of today's sperm whales appear to have descended from the same female, reports Hakai magazine. They've named her Eve and say she lived between 10,000 and 80,... More »

Scientists Answer Weird Question About Moby Dick

Yes, sperm whales could batter a ship with their heads

(Newser) - A multinational team of researchers set out to settle what has oddly been a longstanding dispute in scientific circles: whether, in Moby Dick-esque fashion, sperm whales could use their heads to bash seagoing vessels. And it seems that Herman Melville got it right. Writing in the journal PeerJ , researchers concluded... More »

Diver Caught in Whale 'Poonado'

Cloud of feces was 100 feet in diameter

(Newser) - As octopuses shoot out ink as a defense mechanism, so sperm whales blast threats with poop. At least that's the theory explained by a diver to the BBC . Keri Wilk and three fellow divers were engulfed in what he describes as a "poonado" let loose by one such... More »

How to Move a Whale Carcass

City of Edinburgh had to solve the problem in a hurry

(Newser) - Officials in Edinburgh, Scotland, faced a vexing question this week: What do you do with a dead 30-ton whale that washes up on a beach—near a hotel, no less—and begins stinking up the city? The answer involves a crane, a big truck, a landfill, and some unusual images,... More »

Whale Explodes All Over Researcher

Trapped gas inside causes biologist to get doused in gunk

(Newser) - Doesn't it just suck when you're trying to slice open a dead sperm whale, and it ends up exploding right in your face? That's what happened to biologist Bjarni Mikkelsen in Denmark's Faroe Islands this week, the New York Daily News reports. What was Mikkelsen doing... More »

Dead Whale Found South of Oil Spill

It's still unclear if the oil caused the death

(Newser) - A dead sperm whale has been found floating 77 miles south of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It's not yet clear whether exposure to oil caused the animal's death, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is conducting tests. The whale was found yesterday, but its... More »

New, Giant Oil Plume Found in Gulf

Scientists believe cleanup chemicals to blame

(Newser) - Just when the Gulf of Mexico thought the hurting had stopped, marine scientists have discovered a huge new undersea oil cloud drifting toward Alabama. Hydrocarbon readings confirm that the plume, which starts near the blown-out well and is 6 miles wide and 22 miles long, is not naturally occurring. It's... More »

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