A Large Sperm Whale Awaiting Processing
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Whales and whaling

Whalers caught what they could and there was no sure way of knowing what would come next. The baleen whales or rorquals were all processed in the same way, but sperm whales were treated differently because of their unique oil filled organ - the "spermaceti organ". This massive organ occupies about 1/4 to 1/3 of the whales total length. In this picture it extends from where the lower jaw is hinged right to the front of the whale. The whole of that huge portion of the whale is the spermaceti organ and is filled with oil of different qualities that is used for different purposes including some of the finest quality oil to be found in the world at that time that was of the highest value in precision engineering.

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