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Celebrating whales—and a whale of a tale  

Celebrating whales—and a whale of a tale

A mother sperm whale surfaces in the North Atlantic as her young albino calf swims beside her. It"s an especially photogenic moment for these underwater powerhouses, which spend much of their time in the dim depths over 1,000 feet below the waves. You"re meeting them to commemorate the day in 1841 when a young Herman Melville set out from New Bedford, Massachusetts, on a whaling voyage to the South Pacific that would help inspire his masterwork "Moby-Dick." Today at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Melville fans will begin a marathon public reading of the novel—an annual event that lasts a leviathan 25 hours.

© Flip Nicklin/Minden Pictures

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