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Whale Quotes & Sayings

“I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.” – Muhammad Ali
“Light doesn’t penetrate beneath the surface of the water, so ocean creatures like whales and dolphins and even 800 species of fish communicate by sound. And a North Atlantic right whale can transmit across hundreds of miles.” – Rose George
“Fiction was invented the day Jonas arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“To have a huge, friendly whale willingly approach your boat and look you straight in the eye is without doubt one of the most extraordinary experiences on the planet.” – Mark Carwardine
“The real threat to whales is whaling, which has endangered many whale species.” – Dave Barry
“I will not watch a whale die. I’ve not seen a whale die since I left Greenpeace in 1977.” – Paul Watson

“Like Jonah, the whale had swallowed me; unlike him, I believed I would spend eternity inside the belly of the beast.” – Bob Kerrey
“Most whale photos you see show whales in this beautiful blue water – it’s almost like space.” – Brian Skerry
“There are people in this world who can wear whale masks and people who cannot, and the wise know to which group they belong.” – Tom Robbins

“A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.” – Herman Melville
“Everyone else on the planet, from the lowest amoebae to the great blue whale, expresses all their component elements in a perfect dance with the world around them. Only human beings have unfulfilled lives.” – Nicholas Lore
“I must down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life, to the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s o.” – John Masefield

“In life, the visible surface of the Sperm Whale is not the least among the many marvels he presents. Almost invariably it is all over obliquely crossed and re-crossed with numberless straight marks in thick array, something like those in the finest Italian line engravings. But these marks do not seem to be impressed upon the isinglass substance above mentioned, but seem to be seen through it, as if they were engraved upon the body itself. Nor is this all. In some instances, to the quick, observant eye, those linear marks, as in a veritable engraving, but afford the ground for far other delineations. These are hieroglyphical; that is, if you call those mysterious cyphers on the walls of pyramids hieroglyphics, then that is the proper word to use in the present connexion. By my retentive memory of the hieroglyphics upon one Sperm Whale in particular, I was much struck with a plate representing the old Indian characters chiselled on the famous hieroglyphic palisades on the banks of the Upper Mississippi. Like those mystic rocks, too, the mystic-marked whale remains undecipherable.” – Herman Melville
“Is it not curious, that so vast a being as the whale should see the world through so small an eye, and hear the thunder through an ear which is smaller than a hare’s? But if his eyes were broad as the lens of Herschel’s great telescope; and his ears capacious as the porches of cathedrals; would that make him any longer of sight, or sharper of hearing? Not at all.-Why then do you try to ‘enlarge’ your mind? Subtilize it.” – Herman Melville
“What is the difference between a cathedral and a physics lab? Are not they both saying: Hello? We spy on whales and on interstellar radio objects; we starve ourselves and pray till we’re blue.” – Annie Dillard

“One of my own stray childhood fears had been to wonder what a whale might feel like had it been born and bred in captivity, then released into the wild-into its ancestral sea-its limited world instantly blowing up when cast into the unknowable depths, seeing strange fish and tasting new waters, not even having a concept of depth, not knowing the language of any whale pods it might meet. It was my fear of a world that would expand suddenly, violently, and without rules or laws: bubbles and seaweed and storms and frightening volumes of dark blue that never end.” – Douglas Coupland
“Imagine a forty-five-year-old male fifty feet long, a slim, shiny black animal cutting the surface of green ocean water at twenty knots. At fifty tons it is the largest carnivore on earth. Imagine a four-hundred-pound heart the size of a chest of drawers driving five gallons of blood at a stroke through its aorta; a meal of forty salmon moving slowly down twelve-hundred feet of intestine…the sperm whale’s brain is larger than the brain of any other creature that ever lived…With skin as sensitive as the inside of your wrist.” – Barry López
“It was a figure of a whale, with a white triangle that was supposed to be its spray. The spray moved up and down above the blowhole. On top of the spray sat a black-haired woman.” – Paul Fleischman

“If size really mattered, the whale, not the shark, would rule the waters.” – Matshona Dhliwayo
“It is pretty clear in the Bible story that the whale swallowing Jonah wasn’t meant as a punishment from God, it was God saving him from drowning. So it was actually provision to give him a second chance. The whale itself was the start of Jonah’s second chance.” – Phil Vischer
“Everyone else on the planet, from the lowest amoebae to the great blue whale, expresses all their component elements in a perfect dance with the world around them. Only human beings have unfulfilled lives.” – Nicholas Lore

Whale Proverbs

“There is no eel so small but it hopes to become a whale.” – German
“Every little fish expects to become a whale.” – Danish
“Eats more than a whale.” – Arabic
“However big the whale may be, the tiny harpoon can rob him of life” – Malawian