Almost forgetting for the moment all thoughts of Moby Dick, we now gazed at the most wondrous phenomenon which the secret seas have hitherto revealed to mankind. A vast pulpy mass, furlongs in length and breadth, of a glancing cream-color, lay floating on the water, innumerable long arms radiating from its centre, and curling and twisting like a nest of anacondas, as if blindly to catch at any hapless object within reach. No perceptible face or front did it have; no conceivable token of either sensation or instinct; but undulated there on the billows, an unearthly, formless, chance-like apparition of life.
As with a low sucking sound it slowly disappeared again, Starbuck still gazing at the agitated waters where it had sunk, with a wild voice exclaimed- „Almost rather had I seen Moby Dick and fought him, than to have seen thee, thou white ghost!“
„What was it, Sir?“ said Flask.
„The great live squid, which, they say, few whale-ships ever beheld, and returned to their ports to tell of it.“
Herman Melville: Moby-Dick or The Whale