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  • Whaling Ship Rammed by Whale (1820)
    In 1819, the whaling ship Essex left Massachusetts for the South Pacific to hunt sperm whales. On November 20, 1820, in an incident that would inspire Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, the Essex was rammed multiple times by a sperm whale and sank 2,000 miles (3,700 km) off the coast of South America. The crew took three small boats to a nearby island, but many soon set out again. Conditions in the boats worsened, and the sailors had to resort to cannibalism. How many survived? Discuss