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Remarkable discoveries on the River Thames foreshore at Greenwich indicate that London was the final resting place, some two centuries ago, of a giant whale the size of the legendary Moby Dick.

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a 17-metre-long whale which was butchered for its valuable oils and "bones" sometime in the mid to late 18th or early 19th century.

Like the creature in Herman Melville's novel, it was a giant whale of great age. Zoologists from the Natural History Museum estimate that when it perished in the Thames it was between 50 and 100 years old. Archaeologists say it is one of the biggest single finds every discovered in Britain.


 

Comments

Ich liebe die Zwiebel! The accompanying video is one of the best.

Yr wyf hefyd yn falch o'r nionyn!

re: london's "moby dick":

totally trolling here but wtf. i'ts been about 30 years since i read moby dick, but i live in a place (israel) where archaological findings are often spuriously connected to works of fiction (like the bible?) in order to finance the digs and hoped-for exhibits and this one is just ridiculous.

to the best of my recollection, moby dick was a sperm whale, and not the species represented here. he lived his literary life off the coast of new england, and had nothing to do with (old) england. he was described in the book as "ancient" and this was indeed a plot device for an author who knew nothing of the lifespan of any whale, let alone the sperm (70 years or so is the current "scientific" thinking) but there is nothing "ancient" about this find, or the whale itself. if size is the issue (ahem) there are much larger species and if it's age, this one may well have been older than "moby" could have been, as a member of a species that lives longer. the fact the "archaologists" (where are the biologists?) can't nail the age of the creature more exactly than "between 50 and 100 years" is pathetic with the knowledge and technology currently available. the whole article confuses me- what is the "archaeological" significance of this find? this statement i found particularly laughable:

The discovery will help zoologists to assess how long-term commercial whaling has affected whale evolution and survival.

somebody, please, give me a fucking break.

to the best of my recollection, moby dick was a sperm whale, and not the species represented here

Strawman argument.

Like the creature in Herman Melville's novel, it was a giant whale of great age.

All the article claims is that it was a giant whale of great age.

They brought up Herman Melville's Moby Dick for literary purposes only. Get it?

ah, joann, it warms the cockles of my bitter, twisted heart that you bothered to reply to my admittedly troll-tastic post above. i'd rather be beaten up by you on the web than just about anyone. :)

and i'm glad to know you'll be there fighting for literary freedom the next time some israeli archaologists dig up "king solomon's outhouse" or some such thing. :)

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