DAILY FUEL: The Essex Inspires Moby Dick

On this day in 1820, in an event that inspired the Herman Melville novel “Moby Dick”, the whaling ship ESSEX was repeatedly rammed by a sperm whale in the South Pacific Ocean, eventually sinking. As has been speculated, it is believed that hammering that was being performed in repairing the Essex drew the ire of a male whale who had mistaken the ship for another threatening male, causing the attack. The months-long travails in the logs of the returning harpoon boats are harrowing, including survival through cannibalism, and informed source material central to Melville’s masterwork.

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