Moby Dick Chapter 59 Squid
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Sailing towards Java, a false alarm turns out to be not Moby Dick but turns out to be a giant squid, principal diet of the sperm whale.
Starbuck still gazing at the agitated waters where it had sunk, with a wild voice exclaimed—"Almost rather had I seen Moby Dick and fought him, than to have seen thee, thou white ghost!"
"What was it, Sir?" said Flask.
"The great live squid, which, they say, few whale-ships ever beheld, and returned to their ports to tell of it."
But Ahab said nothing; turning his boat, he sailed back to the vessel; the rest as silently following.
Whatever superstitions the sperm whalemen in general have connected with the sight of this object, certain it is, that a glimpse of it being so very unusual, that circumstance has gone far to invest it with portentousness.
The giant squid normally lives at such depth that it is unseen, except when its long tentacles are found in the belly of the whale.
Hence the myth of the kraken.