“At first, we thought that our fortunes had changed,” his journal begins. “We saw what we thought was a whale breaching when a jet of vapor erupted from the waters along our ship’s port side. As we readied our harpoons, however, we found that the geyser seemed to have no source but the surface of the ocean itself. One of the other sailors exclaimed that it must have been a ‘mirror whale,’ meaning that both sides of its blowhole were on the outside of its body. As such, there was nothing for us to see or kill.”

This anonymous whaler’s account is the earliest known regarding the existence of a cryptid known as the “mirror whale.” It is a difficult matter to dismiss faith in the existence of the creature, as there are no sightings or images to scrutinize, nor are there any claims about what the cetacean looks like. The whalers who tell tale of it are not phased by their lack of evidence; instead, they consider this to be a consequence of the creature’s curious topological properties. Its body has no interior, and thus takes up no volume, yet it has two exteriors which face towards one another. Because of this, the only part of its body which interacts with the world around it is a hole- and some would argue that this isn’t any kind of part at all.

Unlike sea serpents, or krakens, or even mermaids, there are no believers who expect that empirical evidence will someday come forth. Those who speak sincerely of the mirror whale are certain that there shall be no such thing, and that the only way to bear witness to its being is through personal experience. For this reason, it belongs to a category of existence that science can simply never test.

Later on in the whaler’s journal, a curious exchange takes place: “I asked one of the older men on board why the mirror whale even needed to breathe. If its body had no interior, then why did it even have a blowhole? After all, there were no lungs of any kind to hold its air inside. ‘Breathing is the only way that the whale knows that it’s alive,’ he told me. ‘It knows that if it never came up for air, then it would only be the sea.”

Charybdis also appears to be little more than an orifice- but for very different reasons.

For many years, natural philosophers have debated as to whether or not the mirror whale has a shadow.

The titular character is a mirror whale in a fermented copy of Moby Dick.