The White Whale on TP

Herman Melville’s whale-hunting epic is one of the cornerstones of American literature. The narrator introduces us to colorful characters like the carpet-wearing, harpoon-throwing, Queequeg; the good-humored second mate able to cleave through an entire whale’s head with a knife, Stubb; and the avenging peg-legged captain of the Pequod, Ahab.

Though Melville finished his magnum opus in 1851, by his death—40 years later—barely anyone had seen the novel for what it was. To his contemporaries, Melville wasn’t seen as much of a success. Moby Dick only made him about $1,300, and all of the books he had written during his life were out of print by the time he died. By the 1920s, however, his book became known as the greatest American novel.

Moby Dick has since been published countless times in various editions and read by people from all over the world, but one artist decided to make a very unique edition. Dennis Malone of Palm Springs, Florida, has made a copy printed on toilet paper.

The entire text contains over 200,000 words, meaning it took six rolls to cover the whole novel. Malone spent countless hours typing by hand on clean rolls of two-ply paper. All of the text was typed by hand, and Malone used the original dialect, even including helpful footnote references throughout for a no-compromises reading experience.

According to the Toilet Paper Encyclopedia, the average person uses 8.6 sheets per trip—meaning Malone’s novel should last nearly 350 reading sessions.

Odd Is Art

Have your own idea for an odd art project? Enter Deviant Art’s Unconventional Art Contest! You can win a trip for two to Orlando to join the Ripley Art team for a day—not to mention a slew of other exclusive prizes like a trip to LA and a chance for your work to be featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Ripley’s and Deviant Art’s Unconventional Art contest is open now through August 20th.