Saturday, November 19, 2011

This Day in History November 20, 1820

I really found this story I will share today interesting and sad.  I have always heard of Moby Dick, and I had heard that there may be some truth in the book--have not read it yet.  Much to my surprise, it was on this day in 1820 when a similar story happened.

It all concerned the ship called the Essex.  It was on a two and a half year sea journey from Nantucket, and the purpose of its journey was whaling.  The Essex weighed 238 tons, and there were 20 crew members.  They happened to be in the South Pacific on this date in 1820, and it just so happens that a sperm whale weighing 80 tons attacked the ship and repeatedly rammed it.

According to the accounts of the ship, the crew members escaped in three boats.  Their hope was to come in contact with another whaling boat soon, but sadly, they were not.  Time went on, and several of the crew members died.  The living ones survived off of the dead ones, and still no rescue was in sight.  So--and this is where it becomes gruesome--they cast lots, and one crew member was killed so the others could live off of them until rescue.  Finally, after 83 days, the two left on the little boat were rescued, and the other three survivors were later rescued from a desert island.

I always hate to hear these horrible stories of cannibalism.  I can only hope and pray that if ever in this position, I would never resort to this practice.  I honestly think I would rather die than live off of another human being.

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