I haven’t written one of these top-however-many-whatever posts for ages, as there haven’t been many opportunities. Monday 2nd February was Marmot Day, but I can’t think of a single marmot in popular culture. Perhaps there’s a niche in the market; I might look into it. (If you know of one that already exists, please tweet me before I waste all of my money on a massive marmot marketing campaign.)

Anyhoo, Saturday 14th February is Valentine’s Day. It is also my birthday. To top it all off, it’s World Whale Day. Perfect! There must surely be at least, say, nine famous whales I can research and then share with you. I hope there are, as that’s what I’ve claimed in the title of this post. Let’s take a look…


Moby Dick

The obvious one. Herman Melville’s aquatic behemoth is hunted by Ahab, Ishmael, Starbuck, Queequeg, Stubb, Tashtego, Flask and Daggoo. Don’t know about you, but if I were being chased by bloodthirsty, top hat-wearing, harpoon-wielding madmen with silly names, I’d probably want to eat them too.


Image: Wikipedia



This is a short film that’s shown only in Japan’s Ghibli Museum, telling the tale of schoolchildren pretending to build a boat. The daydream runs away with them and soon they’re hunting a whale across the ocean, only to have a friendly one lead them back to the shore. I’d love to see this, so a trip to Japan may be in order (or perhaps that’s a little extravagant for a 16-minute movie).


Image: Wikipedia


Fudgie the Whale

Apparently this is a type of ice cream cake produced and sold by Carvel in America. I’d never heard of Fudgie the Whale but learning new things is part of a blogger’s job, plus you can never have enough knowledge of baked products themed around marine mammals.


Image: Wikipedia


The Skywhale

I hadn’t heard of this either, despite it being made in Britain to then be flown in Australia to mark the centenary of the city of Canberra. The Skywhale is 112 feet high, 75 feet long and capable of carrying a pilot and two passengers to a maximum altitude of 3,000 feet. What stands out most, however, is its ten massive drooping teats, but then that’s hot air balloons for ya.


Image: Wikipedia


Prince of Wales

Sorry, couldn’t resist.


Image: Wikipedia



This beast from the 1940 Disney adaptation of Pinocchio taught children that being swallowed by a whale isn’t so bad, that you can live inside its stomach by candlelight, and safe escape is quite possible simply by making it sneeze.


Image: Disney Wiki


Pearl Krabs

Part of the SpongeBob SquarePants universe, this sperm whale is bratty, greedy, manipulative, spoilt and cries when she doesn’t get what she wants. Note that she’s dressed like a cheerleader so, you know, fair play.


Image: Encylopedia SpongeBobia



The original Shamu was the star of a very popular killer whale show at SeaWorld San Diego in the 1960s. Though going to fishy heaven in 1971, her name has lived on in SeaWorld’s numerous Shamu orca shows ever since.


Image: Wikipedia


The Fail Whale

When websites go down, people get angry. This is particularly evident in the case of social media sites, especially Twitter. After all, when you’re peed off about Twitter being down, it’s only made worse by the inability to tweet your frustrations. On the occasions when Twitter is unavailable due to overcapacity, the Fail Whale appears. It’s a very clever idea, as the character has become an icon of the Digital Age and many people actually enjoy seeing it. You can find out more about the Fail Whale, who designed it and who came up with the name at whatisfailwhale. (Yes, it has its own website. Fingers crossed it never crashes.)


Image: Twitter when it’s poorly


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