Moby-Dick and the Galápagos Tortoises

Moby-Dick and the Galápagos Tortoises

It’s 1820, and the whaleship Essex is in the Pacific Ocean, on a voyage to hunt sperm whales and collect their oil. Most importantly, they “saved” a dozen Galápagos tortoises from the wreck. It’s possible to state that if the Essex had never collected tortoises from the Galápagos, Melville would never written Moby-Dick. In this era of animal extinctions, biodiversity loss, deregulation of the environment and anthropogenic climate change, when you read Moby-Dick, remember the history of the Galápagos tortoises. We need to remember that the only reason we have Moby-Dick is thanks to Galápagos tortoises.

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