harpoon

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harpoon

(härpo͞on`), weapon used for spearing whales and large fish. The early type was a flat triangular piece of metal with barbed edges and a socket for attaching a wooden handle, to the end of which a long rope was fastened. The modern weapon usually has only one barb or point, with a pivoted crosspiece to prevent its withdrawal. Harpoons are used to capture whales, which are then commonly killed by driving a lance into the vital parts. Harpoons may be thrown by hand or fired from guns. These guns are 4 to 5 ft (1.2 m–1.5 m) long, weigh about 75 lb (34 kg), and discharge a harpoon weighing about 100 lb (45.4 kg). Svend Foyn, a Norwegian, invented (c.1856) a harpoon with an explosive-filled tip that kills the whale. A later invention is a harpoon propelled by air pressure with a valve that opens as it strikes, thus admitting air to hasten the whale's death and keep it afloat.

Harpoon

 

a weapon used for hunting large marine animals (whales, walruses, and seals). Primitive, hand harpoons have been used since the end of the Paleolithic period. They consist of a shaft, a bone head, and a tip made of bone, stone, or metal, which is connected to the shaft with a strap. When an animal is hit, the tip separates from the shaft and remains in the animal’s body. The strap unwinds, and the floating shaft shows the hunter the direction of the animal.

Modern harpoons are metal arrows, consisting of a rod and a head with four opening claws. Screwed onto the head is a grenade, which explodes in the animal’s body. A harpoon is 1,530 mm long, and its weight, including the grenade, powder, and detonating fuze, is about 70 kg. When it is shot out of a harpoon gun, the harpoon carries a line with it, which is part of a cable of the whaling ship.

I. S. STUDENETSKAIA

harpoon

[här′pün]
(design engineering)
A barbed spear used to catch whales.

harpoon

a. a barbed missile attached to a long cord and hurled or fired from a gun when hunting whales, etc.
b. (as modifier): a harpoon gun
References in periodicals archive ?
The Soviets explained the early arrivals and late departures of the fleets from the region by claiming that they were making stops in the tropics in order to train harpooners.
The great whites hugged the ocean floor; in shallow waters, they would be close enough to the surface for the harpooners to tag them.
Sometimes the conflict is man against man, such as when, aboard the schooner to Nantucket, the heathen harpooner Queequeg puts the country bumpkin in his place.
For instance, it is instructive to envision the Pequod as a floating factory with Bildad and Peleg as joint CEOs, Ahab as the manager, the mates as foremen, the harpooners as highly-skilled labor, and the rest of the crew as variously skilled and unskilled labor.
Moreover, in his initial impression of Queequeg, the narrator also defines the harpooner as "a wild cannibal" (Melville will use cannibalism in this text to model communication of the significance contained in and the knowledge generated by inves ted objects or trophies).
Ahab, taking advantage of the captain's prerogative to exclusivity, keeps himself aloof from the mates and harpooners in his cabin and at table; he also separates himself from gains with other ship captains, thereby depriving his crew of the opportunities for socializing.
I can serve my clients better at sea than in a Japanese prison cell and I intend to do just that," he wrote, saying that Sea Shepherd would sail on its ninth campaign against Japanese harpooners in December.
Likewise, the production report of the whaling fleet Dalniy Vostok for the 1965 season (Anonymous, 1965b) berates the harpooners of two catchers, but also points to a more systemic problem:
The Harpooners in the photo are the three women on the left side of the picture (Marly Ashworth, Merrill Maloney, and Jessie Cox) and Harpoon's SVP of marketing Charlie Storey, the gentleman in the back in the red shirt.
Harpooners or rod-and-reel fishermen all go mano a mano against this great giant.
Foreign specialists arrived with the Aleut: three harpooners, two whale observers, and other specialists (one in processing/flensing whales, a mechanic for the blubber processing, and one seaman).
They supposedly had trained selected Native Americans to serve as harpooners and oarsmen, in the absence of skilled Basques to fill these roles.