Whale Quotes, Sayings, Captions

This list of whale quotes covers famous sayings from classic literature, like Melville’s “Moby Dick,” to contemporary movie favorites, like “Finding Nemo.”

Whale lovers will enjoy these quotes paying tribute to the gentile giants of the sea. Categories include inspirational, funny, and famous whale quotes. You’ll also find a section on whale conservation sayings from well-known scientists and activists.

Best whale quotes

The best quotes inspired by the whale—the sea’s largest and one of its most majestic creatures.

1. Inspirational whale quotes

About life

If you swim with sharks, make sure you have the appetite of a whale.
Matshona Dhliwayo

The artist has to be something like a whale swimming with his mouth wide open, absorbing everything until he has what he really needs.
Romare Bearden

Whale watching

They were watching, out there past men’s knowing, where stars are drowning and whales ferry their vast souls through the black and seamless sea.
Cormac McCarthy

Baby whale quote

And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale-tender young and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the waters of the beginning and the end.
D. H. Lawrence

Ocean whale quotes

Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure.
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale

Most whale photos you see show whales in this beautiful blue water—it’s almost like space.
Brian Skerry

There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath…
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale

More ocean quotes and sayings

whale quotes image

2. Funny whale quotes

If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?
Dave Barry

I went whale watching once. It was very similar to watching people on a boat become disappointed.
Demetri Martin

Oh, are you from Wales? Do you know a fella named Jonah? He used to live in whales for a while.
Groucho Marx

Fiction was invented the day Jonas arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

How many whales do we really need? I figure five. One for each ocean.
Denis Leary

Adam hid in the Garden of Eden. Moses tried to substitute his brother. Jonah jumped a boat and was swallowed by a whale. Man likes to run from God. It’s a tradition.
Mitch Albom

Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.
George Carlin

Cute whale sayings

He: “Whale you be my valentine?”
She: “Dolphinitely.
Adam Young

The whale without Ahab is just a whale. A whale with no problems. A stress-free whale.
Julian Blackthorn

If you were to make little fishes talk, they would talk like whales.
Oliver Goldsmith

I suppose you could never explain to the most ingenous molusk that such a creature as a whale existed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Like Jonah, the whale had swallowed me; unlike him, I believed I would spend eternity inside the belly of the beast.
Bob Kerrey

I’ve never been one for religion, but yet I’ve never been what ye could call an unbeliever. What I say is, nothin’ don’t seem impossible once you’ve clapped eyes on a whale.
Elizabeth Goudge

You’ll enjoy these octopus quotes and sayings.

Witty sayings

All I know is, it is better to be the whale than the squid.
Roger Ebert

There are people in this world who can wear whale masks and people who cannot, and the wise know to which group they belong.
Tom Robbins

When I’m playful I use the meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude for a seine, and drag the Atlantic Ocean for whales. I scratch my head with the lightning and purr myself to sleep with the thunder.
Mark Twain

Claiming there is no other life in the universe is like scooping up some water, looking at the cup and claiming there are no whales in the ocean.
Neil deGrasse Tyson

As big as an elephant is, a whale is still larger. Everything’s relative. Even gods have their spot on the food chain.
Jim Starlin

Whales who come up and spout off get harpooned.
Henry Kravis

How do you eat a whale quotes

How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time.
Unknown

The fact is, that among his hunters at least, the whale would by all hands be considered a noble dish, were there not so much of him; but when you come to sit down before a meat-pie nearly one hundred feet long, it takes away your appetite.
Herman Melville

Agassiz does recommend authors to eat fish, because the phosphorus in it makes brains. But I cannot help you to a decision about the amount you need to eat. Perhaps a couple of whales would be enough.
Mark Twain

3. Positive whale sayings

Whales, like elephants, are so social and intelligent.
Jane Goodall

To have a huge, friendly whale willingly approach your boat and look you straight in the eye is without doubt one of the most extraordinary experiences on the planet.
Mark Carwardine

If size really mattered, the whale, not the shark, would rule the waters.
Matshona Dhliwayo

My favorite wild animal is a narwhal – the unicorn of the sea. It’s a whale with a tooth that sticks out of its head that’s almost two-thirds the length of its entire body.
Kesha

Whale intelligence

The dolphins and whales have a brain that is actually bigger in proportion to their size than we do. They are very complex. They are thinkers.
Owsley Stanley

Absolute brain size does not tell you everything or possibly sometimes even much. Elephants and whales both have brains larger than ours, but you wouldn’t have much trouble outwitting them in contract negotiations.
Bill Bryson

Kings also sleep; but the clever ones, with one eye open, just like dolphins and whales
Mehmet Murat Ildan

Right whales, for all their size, are surprisingly athletic. They roll, they slap their flukes, they lift their heads out of the water in a move known as a spy hop. They find playthings and are particularly fond of swimming repeatedly through clumps of seaweed, which slides over them like a feathered boa.
Tim Cahill

Quote about whale song

Quotes about whale song

The whales do not sing because they have an answer, they sing because they have a song.
Gregory Colbert

In the forest of the sea, Whale, I heard you Singing.
Kit Wright

Light doesn’t penetrate beneath the surface of the water, so ocean creatures like whales and dolphins and even 800 species of fish communicate by sound. And a North Atlantic right whale can transmit across hundreds of miles.
Rose George

Whale poetry

Have you heard of tiny Melinda Mae,
Who ate a monstrous whale?
She thought she could,
She said she would,
So she started in right at the tail.
Shel Silverstein

I see a Whale in the south-sea,
drinking my soul away.
William Blake

And one rose in a tent of sea and gave
A darkening shudder; water fell away;
The whale stood shining, and then sank in spray.
Yvor Winters

Where great whales come sailing by,
Sail and sail, with unshut eye,
Round the world for ever and aye.
Matthew Arnold

Spiritual quotes

Whales live enigmatic lives, in that realm impenetrable to our gaze. Small wonder they’ve seemed magical and strange.
Diane Ackerman

Everyone else on the planet, from the lowest amoebae to the great blue whale, expresses all their component elements in a perfect dance with the world around them. Only human beings have unfulfilled lives.
Nicholas Lore

Zen quotes

In shallow men the fish of little thoughts cause much commotion. In oceanic minds the whales of inspiration make hardly a ruffle.
Sri Yukteswar Giri

A whale out of water is over-run by ants.
Laozi

If you are looking for a whale you cannot search for a whale in a pond. You must go to deep waters.
Prashant Iyengar

For ocean, whale is a small fish; for wise man, small fish is an ocean! Sun, hides in the candle!
Mehmet Murat Ildan

4. Short whale quotes

We are standing on a whale fishing for minnows.
Joseph Campbell

A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.
Herman Melville

A whale is as unique as a cactus.
Max De Pree

Whale proverbs

There is no eel so small but it hopes to become a whale.
German proverb

To have a whale’s tooth, you must also have a whale’s jaw.
Famous proverb

Every little fish expects to become a whale.
Danish proverb

However big the whale may be, the tiny harpoon can rob him of life.
Malawian proverb

Ambition is like hunting for whales—sometimes you lose them.
American proverb

Throw in a shrimp and pull out a whale.
Japanese proverb

Eats more than a whale.
Arabic proverb

A whale’s tooth in a whale’s jaw.
Maori proverb

Famous whale quote from Moby Dick

5. Famous whale quotes

Never attempt to catch a whale with a minnow.
P. T. Barnum

The grand leap of the whale up the Fall of Niagara is esteemed, by all who have seen it, as one of the finest spectacles in nature.
Benjamin Franklin

Seamen have a custom, when they meet a whale, to fling him out an empty tub by way of amusement, to divert him from laying violent hands upon the ship.
Jonathan Swift

If the Bible had said that Jonah swallowed the whale, I would believe it.
William Jennings Bryan

I have spoken of Jonah, and of the story of him and the whale. A fit story for ridicule, if it was written to be believed; or of laughter, if it was intended to try what credulity could swallow; for, if it could swallow Jonah and the whale it could swallow anything.
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

Whale quotes from famous books and movies

Mr. Dennit, with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on.
Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights

“The Whale Rider” quotes

Thanks to a lot of people, not just myself, Whale Rider had an amazing impact emotionally, and people remember it. I count myself very lucky that all those doors were unlocked, I just had to open them.
Keisha Castle-Hughes

Our Koro was like an old whale stranded in an alien present, but that was how it was supposed to be, because he also had his role in the pattern of things, in the tides of the future.
Rawiri Paratene (as Koro), The Whale Rider

She was going with the whales into the sea and the rain. She was a small figure in a white dress, kicking at the whale as if it were a horse, her braids swinging in the rain.
Rawiri Paratene (as Koro), The Whale Rider

And the whale herd sang their gladness that the tribe would also live, because they knew that the girl would need to be carefully taught before she could claim the place for her people in the world.
The Whale Rider

If you have the tooth of a whale, you must have the jaw of a whale to yield it.
Rawiri Paratene (as Koro), The Whale Rider

And he came on the back of a whale. A man to lead a new people. Our ancestor, Paikea. But now we were waiting for the firstborn of the new generation, for the descendant of the whale rider. For the boy who would be chief.
Keisha Castle-Hughs (as Paikea Apirana), The Whale Rider

A long time ago, my ancestor Paikea came to this place on the back of a whale. Since then, in every generation of my family, the first born son has carried his name and become the leader of our tribe… until now.
Keisha Castle-Hughs (as Paikea Apirana), The Whale Rider

“Moby Dick” whale quotes

This 1851 novel was written by Herman Melville about Captain Ahab’s quest for the white whale, Moby Dick, as narrated by Ishmael. The formal title of the book is “Moby-Dick or, the Whale.”

There she blows! There she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Is it not curious, that so vast a being as the whale should see the world through so small an eye, and hear the thunder through an ear which is smaller than a hare’s?
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Aye, aye! and I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up.
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Dream tonight of peacock tails, Diamond fields and spouter whales. Ills are many, blessing few, But dreams tonight will shelter you.
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

One captain, seizing the line-knife from his broken prow, had dashed at the whale, as an Arkansas duelist at his foe, blindly seeking with a six-inch blade to reach the fathom-deep life of the whale. That captain was Ahab.
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

There is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“Free Willy” sayings

Orcas are usually nice and smart. Willy is smart and nasty.
Lori Petty (as Rae Lindley), Free Willy

He doesn’t like anybody, so stay away from him. You see, Willy’s a case. A very special case.
Lori Petty (as Rae Lindley), Free Willy

Nobody steals a whale.
Michael Ironside (as Dial), Free Willy

“Finding Nemo” whale quotes

Oh, a big fella. Big… A whale… okay, Maybe he only speaks whale.
Dory, Finding Nemo

Oh, it’s a whale of a tale, I’ll tell you, lad…
A school of fish, Finding Nemo

Relax. Whales don’t eat clownfish. They eat krill.
Dory, Finding Nemo

6. Whale conservation quotes

Here are some famous quotes about the movement to protect the whale and conserve its environment.

All of the great whales are endangered.
Paul Watson

Scientific whaling and other lies will be exposed and become atrocities of the past.
Steve Irwin

Whales, like elephants, are so social and intelligent. This hurts me to think of them being transported, put in noisy airplanes, and brought to a horrible concrete pen when they’re supposed to be out in the sea.
Jane Goodall

Nature did not put whales on this earth to splash kids while stuck in a pen.
Jane Velez-Mitchell

What if the catalyst or the key to understanding creation lay somewhere in the immense mind of the whale? Suppose if God came back from wherever it is he’s been and asked us smilingly if we’d figured it out yet. Suppose he wanted to know if it had finally occurred to us to ask the whale. And then he sort of looked around and he said, ‘By the way, where are the whales?’
Cormac McCarthy, Of Whales and Men

We’re asking consumers to be aware of who funds the whale hunters, and to let them know that whaling is bad for business.
Steve Schallhorn

Whales and redwoods both make us feel small and I think that’s an important experience for humans to have at the hands of nature. We need to recognize that we are not the stars of the show. We’re just another pretty face, just one species among millions more.
Roger Payne, Talking on the Water

The real threat to whales is whaling, which has endangered many whale species.
Dave Barry

We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? A world without whales. It’s too terrible to imagine.
Pierce Brosnan

7. Whale captions for Instagram and Tumblr

Add a caption to your whale photos and post them to social media sites like Instagram:

  • Come up for air and breathe.
  • Just you and me and the big, blue sea.
  • I’ll ride the wave where it takes me.
  • Seas the day!
  • The ocean is calling.
  • I whale always love you.
  • Get whale soon!
  • I’d rather be whale watching.
  • The king of the ocean is my best friend.
  • Thar she blows!
  • All good things are wild and free.
  • Whale done!
  • Save the oceans.
  • Everything whale be ok.
  • Oh whale!
  • Chiller whale.
  • I’m a whale watcher.
  • Save the whales!
  • Have a whale of a time.
  • Just a girl who loves orcas.
  • Fluent in whale.
  • Aspiring whale.
  • Take me to the ocean.
  • Whale lives matter.
  • Whale whisperer.
  • Free Willy.
  • No more plastic please.
  • I’d rather be in the deep blue sea.
  • My soundtrack is whale sounds.
  • Easily distracted by whales.

Thank you for reading these whale quotes and captions. Be sure to check out these other quote lists too:

Dolphin Quotes

Mermaid Quotes

Shark Quotes