Sperm whales may dive as deep as 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) below the surface and hold their breath for two hours while looking for prey, according to WDC. They mostly eat squid, octopuses, sharks and other animals that live in the deep ocean, particularly giant squid. These massive invertebrates will put up a fight against the predatory whales and will leave scars on the whales after cutting them with the spiky, round suckers on their tentacles, according to the American Museum of Natural History.
Sperm whales don’t usually pose a danger to humans, but there are some historical accounts and tales of the whales attacking whaling ships. The whale in Herman Melville’s 1851 novel “Moby Dick” was named after an aggressive, real-life sperm whale called Mocha Dick, an albino male first seen near the Chilean island of Mocha in South America. The white whale allegedly attacked whaling ships and killed men, before whalers successfully hunted and killed him in 1838, according to BBC News.
Albinism is rare in nature but has been documented in many species, including whales. Individual white whales are occasionally spotted today. For example, an albino gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) was filmed off the coast of Mexico in 2019, Live Science previously reported. There haven’t been any recently recorded sightings of albino sperm whales, but they may exist.