You may know the sperm whale as the immortalized nemesis of Ahab in Moby Dick, but there's a lot more to learn about these massive creatures. National Geographic explains that these whales are also known for their giant heads filled with an oily fluid that helped give them their name.
The sperm whale not only has the largest brain of any animal on the planet, it has a cavity in its head filled with spermaceti. In the old days, whalers thought the fluid was sperm - today scientists know that's not the case, but they still aren't quite sure about the function.
What researchers do know is that the spermaceti hardens in colder temperatures. For this reason, National Geographic says some speculate that the spermaceti helps the sperm whale alter its buoyancy as it dives as far as 3,280 feet (1000 meters) to catch squid.
In the video here below you get an incredible view of these mysterious, and endangered creatures. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explains that these whales spend a lot of time diving deep for food - so it's hard to estimate how many there are amongst their endangered population. Sightings of these whales is thus fairly rare.
The sperm whale was, and continues to be, hunted for it's oil as well as the contents of it's stomach. Since sperm whales eat squid, fishermen go after them to get access to the squids ambergris - a substance that grows around squid beaks and is used in perfume.
Sperm whales can be found all over the world - though, males tend to stay in colder waters while the females and their young stay in more temperate areas. The video footage captured here shows a pod of sperm whales off the coast of Dana Point in southern California. For that reason, it could quite possibly be a pod of mothers and their young - the sperm whales are known to co-parent.
Check out the incredibly beautiful and rare sight for yourself here below.