Sperm whales of 'Moby Dick' fame seen hunting for first time

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 28, 2019 - Duration: 01:19s

Sperm whales of 'Moby Dick' fame seen hunting for first time

Images of the feeding habits of the famed marine mammal have long been out of reach for scientists.

But thanks to new cameras, researchers including those at "Animal Planet" are breaking new ground.

Dan Fastenberg reports.

Sperm whales of 'Moby Dick' fame seen hunting for first time

STORY: You may have read "Moby Dick," but you've never shared a meal with the great sperm whale on which the classic novel is based.

Until now.

The marine mammal hunts and eats at depths of more than 1,000 feet below the surface.

At that level, the pressure would make man implode.

And it is completely dark.

But thanks to new cameras with mini lights that can withstand the pressure, "Animal Planet" is among those breaking new ground with their upcoming show that has the working title, "Chasing Ocean Giants." The show's hosts, sperm whale expert, Dr. Shane Gero, and ocean explorer, Patrick Dykstra, led a recent exploration of the Caribbean near the island of Dominica to witness a sperm whale and her calf in action.

The rare footage provides a glimpse of what happens when a sperm whale goes in for the kill on what is thought to be squids.

To make it happen for her and her baby, the whale employs a complex clicking pattern.

Much is left to be discovered in the deep seas on Planet Earth.

Scientists say oceans are less understood than the Moon or Mars.

And a so-called "blue economy" of marine resources in the deep seas is expected to contribute $3 trillion to the world's GDP by 2030.

(Production: Dan Fastenberg)

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