3 Legends and Myths About Whales That Will Blow Your Mind

Whales are much more than just gargantuan creatures roaming the waters. For thousands of years, humans and whales have shared a very unique connection, from the earliest stories of unknown sea demons destroying ships to the many methods adopted in the present day to preserve and protect these beloved mammals. Over the course of history, whales have terrified, delighted, fascinated, and inspired humankind. They have also played a significant role in many cultures, tribes, and communities. This has earned them a place in countless legends, myths, and folklore tales that are rife with stories of all kinds. In some, you will find narratives of whales swallowing humans, and in others, they are often painted as gods, deities, and divine spirits. Here are some of these stories that you should know about:

In Maori tradition

Many Māori tribes have a powerful cultural association with whales. Most of them believe that whales are descendants of Tangaroa, who is the god of the oceans. They were revered as supernatural beings and considered sacred. Whales also appear in migration legends. Some tribes look at whales as a sign indicating that they should settle in a particular place. Māori ancestors often looked to them for guidance during their canoe journeys to Aotearoa. There are tribal stories, carvings, and some specialized language names that are testament to the interaction with the Māori and whales.

In Hawaiian culture

Native Hawaiian families have deified ancestors, aumakua, who could take the form of any animal, including shark, owl, and whale, among others. The whale, or kohola, appears in dreams and visions and serves as a connection between the physical and spiritual worlds. They also provide spiritual guidance. Whales also appear in numerous Hawaiian legends, including stories of creation, such as "Hanau Ka Palaoa Noho I Kai (The Palaoa Was Born and Lived in the Sea)." Palaoa refers to sperm whales or ivory from whale tusks.

The story of Jonah and the Whale

The story of Jonah and the Whale is one of the most fascinating, if not odd, accounts in the Bible. In this story, Jonah is a recalcitrant prophet who defied God’s summons to prophesy against Nineveh, the city of wickedness. He, instead, chose to book a passage on a ship to Tas Shish. Due to a storm sent by God, Jonah is cast into the sea and swallowed by a giant whale, also sent by God. While stuck inside the belly of the beast for three days and three nights, Jonah repented and prayed to God for help. God then commanded the whale to vomit and release Jonah from its stomach. While these myths and legends about the mighty whale are surely interesting, modern science has proven to us that it is not the fearsome creature that we have been led to believe. In fact, some whales are called gentle giants of the sea. If you wish to embark on your own adventure with whales, buy sperm whale tooth at Buried Treasure Fossils. We also offer a selection of other authentic fossils, including shark tooth, dinosaur fossils, cave bear fossils, and more.