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Still Waters

'Moby Dick' white fossil of the ancient sea

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Still Waters

In Hollywood's version of the events that inspired the classic novel Moby Dick, a giant sperm whale terrorises the crew of a whaling ship and eventually destroys the vessel.

Based on the true story of the sinking of the Essex in 1820, the film, In the Heart of the Sea, portrays the whale as a merciless monster that pushes its shipwrecked victims to the brink of madness.

Did such a terrifying creature ever exist? Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution say it probably did - but 15 million years ago.


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