Sperm whales Physeter catodon , or cachalots, are the largest of the toothed whales , with males up to 19 meters 62 feet long—more than five times the length of a large elephant —and females up to 12 meters 39 feet in length. They are easily recognized by their enormous square head and narrow lower jaw. As far as we can tell, Moby Dick was the only sperm whale that delivered a unique brand of karmic justice to one-legged sea captains bent on vengeance. Are they called sperm whales because their body shape is similar to that of male sex cells, or is there another reason? The head of the sperm whale contains an enormous fluid-filled organ which whalers called the case.
Whales, like all cetaceans, have a thick layer of blubber right beneath their hardy skin. This blubber is vascularised adipose tissue, comprises the hypodermis and covers the entire body with the exception of some of the appendages. Being thicker than most layers of fat differentiates blubber, which is separated from the fibrous tissue that covers the underlying muscles by a loose connective tissue. This enables the blubber to have free movement that is independent of how the muscles below it are moving.
In Herman Melville's classic novel, a Sperm whale called Moby Dick is protrayed as an evil monster which sinks ships and kills sailors. This is the reputation these whales have gotten throughout the years, perhaps because of their large size and huge teeth. We now know that Sperm whales are not dangerous to people. They do not break ships apart and swallow sailors whole.
Sperm oil , pale yellow oil obtained with spermaceti from the head cavity spermaceti organ and blubber of the sperm whale. Formerly used as a superior lighting oil and later as a lubricant, it was little used in the modern period apart from in certain toiletries and pharmaceuticals, although in advances in oil chemistry allowed it to be used in large quantities for the manufacture of soap. After removal of spermaceti and treatment with sulfur, sperm oil provided excellent lubricants that resisted extreme pressures. These were commonly used in mechanical transmissions, high-speed machinery, and precision instruments.