“Captain, we’ve got whales, sir!” —Star Trek: The Voyage Home
And in this episode, we’ve got whale facts! the 2015 film In the Heart of the Sea is based on this excellent book by Nantucket-based historian Nathaniel Philbrick. Below, check out a few of our sources and some further reading:
*This poem by Herman Melville features the real Captain Pollard as a character.
*Learn more about why whale oil was considered so important – and why we stopped using it.
*The Nantucket Historical Association has tons of great material, including dozens of articles about whaling, an exploration of the town’s role in literature, and an examination of the black experience in Nantucket (including an impressive collection of oral histories). Since public history sites are struggling right now, consider throwing this outstanding organization a donation.
*This video from Ask A Mortician takes a more in-depth (and considerably more horrifying) look at the crew’s ordeal.
*There are some great museums you can also visit to learn more about the whaling industry: Mystic Seaport Museum, New Bedford Whaling Museum, The Whaling Museum and Education Center, The Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum, and the Nantucket Historical Association’s Whaling Museum.