Some of my favorite things: The interpretations of sea life by old mariners, and the legends they wrought.
The walrus was once known as the Morse, and the Sea Horse. They’re massive beasts; the males can be nearly two tons and highly aggressive during mating season. Only the orca and polar bear dare attack it, and even those predators would rather find a less dangerous meal.
In Canada, it’s estimated that almost 50% of polar bear attacks on walruses end in the death or serious injury of the polar bear - they are a food of desperation, and the (rare) opportunity when there’s an injured or young walrus separated from the herd.
Legend and mythology of the Laplanders and Inuit often features the prized animal. The tusks and bones of the caught walruses were carved into beautiful designs, and the oosiks (baculum/penis bones) were given to newly-married couples as gifts to bless them with fertility.
“The time has come,” the Walrus
“To talk of many things:
of shoes - and ships - and
Of cabbages — and kings -
And why the sea is boiling hot —
And whether pigs have wings.”
-Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
Walrus interpretations from Proceedings of the General Meeting of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London. 1921.