Whales Quotes

Quotes tagged as "whales" Showing 1-30 of 48
Christopher Moore
“Nate had been born and raised in British Columbia, and Canadians hate, above all things, to offend. It was part of the national consciousness. "Be polite" was an unwritten, unspoken rule, but ingrained into the psyche of an entire country. (Of course, as with any rule, there were exceptions: parts of Quebec, where people maintained the "dismissive to the point of confrontation, with subsequent surrender" mind-set of the French; and hockey, in which any Canadian may, with impunity, slam, pummel, elbow, smack, punch, body-check, and beat the shit out of, with sticks, any other human being, punctuated by profanities, name-calling, questioning parentage, and accusations of bestiality, usually-coincidentally- in French.)”
Christopher Moore, Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

Herman Melville
“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, Moby-Dick or, the Whale

Karen Pryor
“I couldn't help wondering where porpoises had learned this game of running on the bows of ships. Porpoises have been swimming in the oceans for seven to ten million years, but they've had human ships to play with for only the last few thousand. Yet nearly all porpoises, in every ocean, catch rides for fun from passing ships; and they were doing it on the bows of Greek triremes and prehistoric Tahitian canoes, as soon as those seacraft appeared. What did they do for fun before ships were invented?
Ken Norris made a field observation one day that suggests the answer. He saw a humpback whale hurrying along the coast of the island of Hawaii, unavoidably making a wave in front of itself; playing in that bow wave was a flock of bottlenose porpoises. The whale didn't seem to be enjoying it much: Ken said it looked like a horse being bothered by flies around its head; however, there was nothing much the whale could do about it, and the porpoises were having a fun time. ”
Karen Pryor, Lads Before the Wind: Diary of a Dolphin Trainer

Christopher Moore
“No theory ever benefited by the application of data, Amy. Data kills theories. A theory has no better time than when it's lying there naked, pure, unsullied by facts. Let's just keep it that way for a while."

"So you don't really have a theory?"

"Clueless."

"You lying bag of fish heads."

"I can fire you, you know. Even if Clay was the one that hired you, I'm not totally superfluous to this operation yet. I'm kind of in charge. I can fire you. Then how will you live?"

"I'm not getting paid."

"See, right there. Perfectly good concept ruined by the application of fact.”
Christopher Moore, Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

D.H. Lawrence
“They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains the hottest blood of all.”
D.H. Lawrence, Whales Weep Not!

Eric Jay Dolin
“The heroic and often tragic stories of American whalemen were renowned. They sailed the world’s oceans and brought back tales filled with bravery, perseverance, endurance, and survival. They mutinied, murdered, rioted, deserted, drank, sang, spun yarns, scrimshawed, and recorded their musings and observations in journals and letters. They survived boredom, backbreaking work, tempestuous seas, floggings, pirates, putrid food, and unimaginable cold. Enemies preyed on them in times of war, and competitors envied them in times of peace. Many whalemen died from violent encounters with whales and from terrible miscalculations about the unforgiving nature of nature itself. And through it all, whalemen, those “iron men in wooden boats” created a legacy of dramatic, poignant, and at times horrific stories that can still stir our emotions and animate the most primal part of our imaginations. “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme,” proclaimed Herman Melville, and the epic story of whaling is one of the mightiest themes in American history.”
Eric Jay Dolin, Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

Dr. Seuss
“Stop telling such outlandish tales. Stop turning minnows into whales.”
Dr. Seuss, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

“Whales are silly once every two years. The young are called short-heads or baby blimps. Many whale romances begin in Baffin's bay and end in Procter and Gamble's factory, Staten Island.”
Will Cuppy, How to Tell Your Friends from the Apes

Nick Pyenson
“We sent whalesong into interstellar space because the creatures that sing these songs are superlative beings that fill us with awe, terror, and affection. We have hunted them for thousands of years and scratched them into our mythologies and iconography. Their bones frame the archways of medieval castles. They’re so compelling that we imagine aliens might find them interesting — or perhaps understand their otherworldly, ethereal song.”
Nick Pyenson, Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures

Peter Heller
“In the November 2006 issue of Science, a report by an international team of scientists studying a vast amount of data gathered between 1950 and 2003 declared that if current trends of fishing and pollution continue, every fishery in the world's oceans will collapse by 2048...The oceans as an ecosystem would completely collapse.”
Peter Heller, The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet's Largest Mammals

Eric Jay Dolin
“American whale oil lit the world. It was used in the production of soap, textiles, leather, paints, and varnishes, and it lubricated the tools and machines that drove the Industrial Revolution. The baleen cut from the mouths of whales shaped the course of feminine fashion by putting the hoop in hooped skirts and giving form to stomachtightening
and chest-crushing corsets. Spermaceti, the waxy substance from the heads of sperm whales, produced the brightest- and cleanest-burning candles the world has ever known, while ambergris, a byproduct of irritation in a sperm whale’s bowel, gave perfumes great staying power and was worth its weight in gold.”
Eric Jay Dolin, Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

Christopher Moore
“From the slope of Haleakala, the Old Broad watched the activity in the channel with a two-hundred-power celestial telescope and a pair of "big eyes" binoculars that looked like stereo bazookas on precision mounts that were anchored into a ton of concrete.”
Christopher Moore, Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

Christopher Moore
“What are you working on?" Elizabeth asked. Nate could hear her tapping a pencil on her desk. She took notes during their conversations. He didn't know what she did with the notes, but it bothered him.
"I have a lecture at the sanctuary in four days." Why, why had he told her? Why? Now she'd rattle down the mountain in her ancient Mercedes that looked like a Nazi staff car, sit in the audience, and ask all the questions that she knew in advance he couldn't answer.”
Christopher Moore, Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

Marina Keegan
“Whales feel cohesion, a sense of community, of loyalty. The distress call of a lone whale is enough to prompt its entire pod to rush to its side- a gesture that lands them nose to nose in the same sand. It's a fatal symphony of echolocation, a siren call to the sympathetic.”
Marina Keegan, The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories

Terry Pratchett
“But you can't just leave it at that!" said Anathema, pushing forward. "Think of all things you could do! Good things."
"Like what?" said Adam suspiciously.
"Well... you could bring all the whales back, to start with."
He put his head on one side. "An' that'd stop people killing them?"
She hesitated. It would have been nice to say yes.
"An' if people do start killing 'em, what would you ask me to do about 'em?" said Adam. "No. I reckon I'm getting the hang of this now. Once I start messing around like that, there'd be no stoppin' it. Seems to me, the only sensible thing is for people to know if they kill a whale, they've got a dead whale.”
Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Katherine Center
“Whales have a highly evolved language that works like sonar. They have special neurons called spindle cells. Human have them, too, and they’re linked with self-awareness, and compassion, and language. Except whales have had them about fifteen million years longer than we have.”
Katherine Center, Happiness for Beginners

Mark Beauregard
And now that Thanksgiving has passed, I will take a moonlight ramble through the woods – yes, the city has its culture and cafes, and the sea has its drama, but for now give me the fallen leaves and rolling hills and the smell of the earth after a rain! Give me that over all the operas on earth, so long as I can harpoon whales with my pen!
Mark Beauregard, The Whale: A Love Story

Yann Martel
“They would emerge a short distance away, sometimes three or four of them, a short lived archipelago of volcanic islands.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi
tags: whales

“Ko kiti priplavajo v vaše srce, ga nikoli več ne zapustijo.”
Živa Vivianaia Dor

“...you never truly win a conservation battle - you just win the right to fight another day. Like an alcoholic, the environment is never saved. It always needs saving.”
Joshua Horwitz
tags: whales

Neil Leckman
“I figure whales are just amphibious pigs on steroids, right?”
Neil Leckman

Neil Leckman
“The other day I played a duck's quack backwards and it turns out it's whale song saying, "Paul is DEAD!!”
Neil Leckman
tags: whales

Patrick Ness
“When you predict the future, when you do so strongly and you cling to it, how much of the future do you then cause to happen?”
Patrick Ness, And the Ocean Was Our Sky

Carl Safina
“The sensation I was feeling on the clifftop was some sort of reverberation in the air itself.… The whale had submerged and I was still feeling something. The strange rhythm seemed now to be coming from behind me, from the land, so I turned to look across the gorge … where my heart stopped.… Standing there in the shade of the tree was an elephant … staring out to sea!… A female with a left tusk broken off near the base.… I knew who she was, who she had to be. I recognized her from a color photograph put out by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry under the title “The Last Remaining Knysna Elephant.” This was the Matriarch herself.… She was here because she no longer had anyone to talk to in the forest. She was standing here on the edge of the ocean because it was the next, nearest, and most powerful source of infrasound. The underrumble of the surf would have been well within her range, a soothing balm for an animal used to being surrounded by low and comforting frequencies, by the lifesounds of a herd, and now this was the next-best thing. My heart went out to her. The whole idea of this grandmother of many being alone for the first time in her life was tragic, conjuring up the vision of countless other old and lonely souls. But just as I was about to be consumed by helpless sorrow, something even more extraordinary took place.… The throbbing was back in the air. I could feel it, and I began to understand why. The blue whale was on the surface again, pointed inshore, resting, her blowhole clearly visible. The Matriarch was here for the whale! The largest animal in the ocean and the largest living land animal were no more than a hundred yards apart, and I was convinced that they were communicating! In infrasound, in concert, sharing big brains and long lives, understanding the pain of high investment in a few precious offspring, aware of the importance and the pleasure of complex sociality, these rare and lovely great ladies were commiserating over the back fence of this rocky Cape shore, woman to woman, matriarch to matriarch, almost the last of their kind. I turned, blinking away the tears, and left them to it. This was no place for a mere man.”
Carl Safina, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel

Herman Melville
“he will have no one near him but Nature herself; and her he takes to wife in the wilderness of waters, and the best of wives she is, though she keeps so many moody secrets.”
Herman Melville

Nathaniel Philbrick
“Unable to sleep for the third night in a row, he continued to dwell obsessively on the circumstances of the ship's sinking. He could not get the creature out of his mind.”
Nathaniel Philbrick, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

Herman Melville
“The great Leviathan is that one creature in the world which must remain unpainted to the last.”
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale

Carl Safina
“Beneath the skin, kin.”
Carl Safina

Un-su Kim
“He believed that people should emulate whales. He said that people had grown as small and crafty as rats , and that the days of taking slow, huge, beautiful strides had vanished, The age of giants was over.”
Un-su Kim, The Plotters

Herman Melville
“Best, therefore, withhold any amazement at the strangely gallied whales before us, for there is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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