Whale facts

Whale Oil
There were three kinds of whale oil harvested and refined for energy use: whale oil, sperm oil, and spermaceti.

Spermaceti was harvested from the case or forehead, of the sperm whale and used to make candles.

1 Candlepower is a unit of measurement for light, produced by burning one spermaceti candle.

Sperm oil was harvested from the blubber of sperm whales.

Whale oil was harvested from the blubber of all other species of wales, mostly right whales, grey whales, humpback whales, and minke whales.

Whale oil was ideal for lighthouses because the oil doesn’t solidify in really cold temperatures or evaporate in really hot temperatures, allowing for a steady and reliable flame wherever the lighthouse was built or what season it was. For example, other oils might become solid in cold weather causing the light to go out – bad news for a lighthouse that ships rely on for navigation.

Right Whales

It would take 28,000,000 right whales harvested every year to meet the energy demands of American households.

There are fewer than 366 North Atlantic right whales alive today.

The oil from a right whale would operate an average American car for 8 years.Whaling for energy was only profitable when whaling vessels used wind, which is free.

A right whale’s body has about 4,200 gallons of whale oil after the whale is killed, processed, and the oil is refined.

A gallon of whale oil in the 1850s was about $0.38/gallon.

Blue Whales

They are the largest animals that have ever lived. Bigger than the biggest dinosaur!Length: 82 feet. That’s 25 meters or 0.0135 nautical miles.Mass: 110,000 – 330,000 lbs that’s 165 Tons

It would take 552 blue whales to equal the weight of the Washington MonumentThe tongue of blue whale is huge and weighs the same as a female Asian elephant (about 3 600kgs or 3.6 tons).

They can eat 4 to 8 tons of krill per day and can weigh up to 200 tons.The females grow to an average of 25 meters in length, with males at an average of 24 meters long.

They have very life span between 80 to 90 years while some reach to 100 - 110 years. ⠀

Unfortunately, they are an endangered species as their population is at an estimate of only 25,000. ⠀

Sperm Whales

Three fishermen from Oman have managed to snag a wonderfully gross catch: a giant hunk of ambergris (whale vomit) weighing 80 kilograms (176 pounds), which is valued at almost US$3 million.
 

Last updated: January 7, 2021

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

33 William Street
New Bedford, MA 02740

Phone:

508-996-4095

Contact Us