A whale of a tale!

When you think of whales, your mind may be filled by a variety of information, some based on facts, others on legends and fairy tales. Either way, history created a whale of a tale!

You see, centuries ago, explorers used to believe that our planet was as flat as a flapjack, which scared anyone as the belief was that anyone traveling the oceans and seas would at some point, reach the end of the world and fall off the edge of the Earth, to their death. As these water bodies were also mostly unknown until explorers such as Christopher Columbus and Magellan's trips confirmed that the Earth was of spherical shape.

Then, sailing on unknown waters, sailors and explorers developed certain fears, some being based on facts, others on stories. For example, while the lack of fresh water, food, the presence of diseases, pirates and storms were quite real, what lived underneath that watery surface gave life to bewitching mermaids and sea monsters. Another whale of a tale!

In fact, both those creatures were a figment of their imagination. You see, imagine a sailor, spending months at sea, hungry, thirsty, lonely and maybe even sick were often the victim or their own fairy tales. Also, when they reached a port, how else were they to attract women with their stories of bravery facing the perils of violent storms, bewitching mermaids and powerful sea monsters? Well, the truth was quite different and certainly not as exciting.

What were in fact, these beautiful mermaids bewitching them with their songs and guiding them blindly to a certain death against the rocks? What were these powerful sea monsters feeding on humans and drinking their blood? Well the answer is simple, in both cases, they were whales. And their legendary stories were nothing more than a whale of a tale.

Reality is quite different. For example, the mermaids were inoffensive baleen whales communicating with each other. Their sounds remind people of harmonious songs that are even recorded nowadays as relaxing music. I know that a marine mammal such as the blue whale, which is the largest mammal in the world, may have led sailors to believe they were dangerous but facts proved them wrong. In reality, the blue whale is not only an inoffensive baleen whale, which mainly feeds on plankton, it is also considered to be a gentle giant.

Legendary novels such as Moby Dick were also based on a "sea monster" that attacked sailors and sailors. This well-known had the appearance of a white Sperm whale. When you look at the facts, whalers have been hunting whales for centuries. Is it fair to believe that a whale that should fight for its life and cost the lives of some men, not by eating them but by making them fall overboard, should be known as a sea monster?

While this novel is not only well-known but also well written and quite entertaining, is it fair to believe that it is based on reality? Facts are speaking louder than words when they prove that mermaids and sea monsters are nothing more than a whale of a tale!

If you wish to learn more about whales, I invite you to visit the following link: whales.

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