Animals A-Go-Go

Sperm Whales in Norway

Apr 24, 2001
Outside Magazine

Moby Dick, an "intelligent malignity." But the whale is malign only if you happen to be a giant squid (the average 45-ton, 55-foot-long male sperm whale will dive down to 4,000 feet hunting squid and can consume about a ton of them a day). Sperm whales live—and have been hunted—in every ocean on the planet. Though their population was decimated by the whaling industry, they now number about 200,000 worldwide thanks to a 1986 ban on sperm whaling. These days their only pursuers in Norway are the fleet of research vessels that make the three- to five-hour round-trip from the small fishing village of Andenes to see some of the several hundred male whales that spend the summer offshore. Though the boat trip on the open sea can be rough and cold, the islands' climate is generally quite mild in summer. Midday temperatures range from 60 to 70 degrees; temperatures drop down to the forties or fifties in the evening when the sun dips low, but never sets.

WHAT ELSE YOU'LL SEE: Minke whales, killer whales, eagles, gannets, seals, terns, cormorants.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Got Wanderlust?

Escape your daily grind with Outside’s best getaways.

Thank you!