“20000 Leagues Under the Sea” Part1 Ch06

Question 1: How could an electric light leave behind a phosphorescent track like the puffs of steam from a train with a steam engine? (Perhaps there was phosphorescent material in the water activated by the strong electric light).

Question 2: Why did Professor Aronnax continue to believe that the Nautilus was a sea creature after chasing it for hours and “without it showing any signs of exhaustion”. Aronnax said: I wished the beast would exhaust itself, and not be insensible to fatigue like a steam engine!” Have you ever held onto false hopes and believed in false ideas despite growing evidence to the contrary?

Question 3: How was Professor Aronnax thrown overboard from the Abraham Lincoln?

Question 4:

He gave his orders. The Abraham Lincoln kept up half steam, and advanced cautiously so as not to awake its adversary.  It is no rare thing to meet in the middle of the ocean whales so sound asleep that they can be successfully attacked, and Ned Land had harpooned more than one during its sleep.

How do whales sleep without drowning?

Answer 4: According to pg 42 of “Blue Whales and Other Baleen Whales” by Christina Johnson (copyright 2005, published by World Book, Inc.):

Baleen whales do sleep, but scientists know very little about how they sleep.  And, they can’t sleep deeply the way people and other land mammals do. Whales must come to the surface of the water to breathe, so they can’t stay motionless in the water for long periods.

The brain of a baleen whale, like the human brain, has two sides – a right and a left hemisphere.

When a whale sleeps, scientists think only one side of the brain rests at a time.  The other side stays awake to direct the whale to the surface for air.  By letting one side of the brain rest, whales catch a nap without drowning.  Both baleen whales and toothed whales sleep with half a brain awake.

When sleeping, whales sometimes position themselves near the water’s surface so they can pop up easily for air.


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