So of course I have to share this article by Ben Shattuck that answers the question: Can you actually survive in the belly of a whale? I won’t give away the answer (lots of cool whale info in the actual article), but here’s a taste:
“You want to believe in an animal that can fit you inside them — that you might be consumed not piece-by-piece, mouthful-by-mouthful as sharks and bears would eat you, but wholly; to be encased as your full self, womb-like. You want to believe in big animals like you did when you were a kid. You want to be powerless as you are leaning into hurricane winds or with your eyes closed or looking into the ocean.”
The sea is not our natural habitat, and it’s so thrilling to think of these ancient, giant creatures that could overwhelm us. Make sure to check out the whole article. Shattuck even ends up at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, which isn’t far from Boston and a place I haven’t visited when I was very young. This might inspire me to take a visit this spring. Maybe a nautical novel is in the works at some point? Apparently the museum has a Visiting Scholar in Residence program, so anyone interested in writing about whales or whaling should check it out.