Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Tale Of A Whale Hunt In The Gowanus Canal...In 1928

Sperm whale hunting


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Only In The Gowanus, Folks!

Does everyone remember the story of Sludgie, the juvenal minke whale, who lost his way during a storm in April 2007 and wandered into the Gowanus Canal? The 12-foot-long whale provided lots of excitement, but its stay in the fetid waters of the canal proved too dangerous. Sludgie died two days later.

Turns out, the minke whale was not the first. More Than 81 years before, on March 1928, a two-ton, 18-foot-long sperm whale was captured in the Gowanus by 4 unemployed ironworkers spotted the poor thing, who lassoed the poor thing with steel cables and dragged it to the shore, where it died.

The carcass was taken to the Museum Of Natural History to be exhibited in the Oceanic Hall.
I wonder if it is still displayed there, today. I'll try to call the museum to find out.
(Does anyone have a contact number?)

Take some time to read the whole New York Times article above. It is quite a story, even though it is a bit barbaric.

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