Spermaceti from Greek sperma meaning "seed", and cetithe genitive form of "whale"  is a waxy substance found in the head cavities of the sperm whale and, in smaller quantities, in the oils of other whales. Spermaceti is created in the spermaceti organ inside the whale's head. Two theories for the spermaceti organ's biological function suggest it either controls buoyancyor acts as a focusing apparatus for the whale's sense of echolocation.
The whaling industry was a source of enormous, rapid wealth in early Van Diemen's Land. Oil was harvested from whale blubber by boiling the fat in tri-pots, with the oil being siphoned off into casks for sale. As much as three tons of oil could be taken from one whale, and it was the primary source of interior lighting in colonial Tasmania, being used in lamps and candles.
If left exposed to the air for long periods of time, it becomes yellowish and slightly rancid. Spermaceti is insoluble in water and ethanol when cold. It is soluble in ethanol and acetone when hot as well as in ether, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, carbon disulfide and fatty oils but only sparingly soluble in petroleum benzene.
Spermacetia waxliquid at body temperature, obtained from the head of a sperm whale or bottlenose whale. Spermaceti was used chiefly in ointments, cosmetic creams, fine wax candles, pomades, and textile finishing; later it was used for industrial lubricants. The substance was named in the mistaken belief that it was the coagulated semen of the whale.
The first principal use of whale oil was as an illuminant in lamps and as candle wax. Other uses came in time. In the 's it was noted that the burning oil from sperm whales glowed brightly and clearly and did not have a disagreeable odor like the oil from right whales did Bonner,
Energy experts predict that the global production of oil will soon start to decline, what's referred to as peak oil. Now while we may not be there yet, there was a time in our history when we did reach a similar plateau, but it was a very different kind of energy source — one that could only be extracted from the heads of sperm whales. It was the intense demand for this sperm whale oil, what's called spermaceti, during the 18th and 19th centuries that nearly drove the whales into extinction.
My, you smell nice! Ambergris is used as a fragrance in the production of perfumes. Lumps of it weighing up to 45 kg float around at sea and sometimes get washed up on beaches.
I know all of you are dying to get your dirty little hands on this number. Wait your turn, please. I was looking at my Visualized Physics book, reading about the measurement of light.
Jump to navigation. Unlike the baleen whales, sperm whales are active predators, specializing on large squids in the deep sea but also eating large bony fishes and sharks. Sperm whales have several specialized physical characteristics that aid in this predatory behavior.