Wow...that's a fantastic piece of scientific writing...
It's too bad that so much "scientific" thinking on a subject often leads so far from the truth.
Lately, I've been re-reading Melville's Moby Dick
, in which the author presents numerous examples of the errors made by scientific authorities concerning the nature of the whale, most interestingly this one, in Chapter 55, entitled Monstrous Pictures of Whales
"...let us glance at those pictures of leviathan purporting to be sober, scientific delineations, by those who know. In old Harris's collection of voyages there are some plates of whales extracted from a Dutch book of voyages, A.D. 1671...In one of those plates the whales, like great rafts of logs, are represented lying among ice-isles, with white bears running over their living backs. In another plate, the prodigious blunder is made of representing the whale with perpendicular flukes.
Nor are the most conscientious compilations of Natural History for the benefit of the young and tender, free from the same heinousness of mistake. Look at that popular work 'Goldsmith's Animated Nature.' In the abridged London edition of 1807, there are plates of an alleged 'whale' and a 'narwhale.' I do not wish to seem inelegant, but this unsightly whale looks much like an amputated sow; and, as for the narwhale, one glimpse at it is enough to amaze one, that in this nineteenth century such a hippogriff could be palmed for genuine upon any intelligent public of schoolboys.
But these manifold mistakes in depicting the whale are not so very surprising after all. Consider! Most of the scientific drawings have been taken from the stranded fish; and these are about as correct as a drawing of a wrecked ship, with broken back, would correctly represent the noble animal itself in all its undashed pride of hull and spars. Though elephants have stood for their full-lengths, the living Leviathan has never yet fairly floated himself for his portrait. The living whale, in all his full majesty and significance, is only to be seen at sea in unfathomable waters; and afloat the vast bulk of him is out of sight, like a launched line-of-battle ship; and out of that element it is a thing eternally impossible for mortal man to hoist him bodily into the air, so as to preserve all his mighty swells and undulations. And...even in the case of one of those young sucking whales hoisted to a ship's deck, such is then the outlandish, eel-like, limbered, varying shape of him that his precise expression the devil himself could not catch.
...the only mode in which you can derive even a tolerable idea of his living contour, is by going a whaling yourself; but by so doing, you run no small risk of being eternally stove and sunk by him."
end of quote
Despite all his scientific portraiture of the Leviathan of Internal Power, Erick is, unfortunately, one of those who has never "gone a whaling" himself, precisely for fear of being "eternally stove and sunk" by the likes of Dan Harden. Nor has he yet laid hands upon such deep-diving types as Minoru Akuzawa or Mike Sigman. And his explanations, I'm afraid, are on a par with such "scientists" as Frederick Cuvier, who may have been quite knowledgeable in many subjects, but whose drawing of a Sperm Whale is criticized by Ishmael as "not a Sperm Whale, but a squash."
Put your faith in the accounts of those who have been there.