KEROSENE REPLACED THIS ANIMAL’S OIL for lighting, lubrication, and other uses—

Here is your answer.

By ensuring that kerosene replaced a commonly used and increasingly hard to acquire oil, the founding of kerosene and the kerosene lamp greatly diminished the mid-19th century hunting of which animal:

A. Salmon;

B. Seal; or

C. Whale

Oil was discovered


A single, large sperm whale can retain up to three tons of sperm oil, making them an exceptionally valuable resource for illumination, machine lubrication, soap, and other applications. During the mid-1700s and early 1800s, consumer demand for this oil resulted in the merciless hunting of sperm whales; in fact, after pillaging the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, whalers began hunting for smaller whales in colder and more extreme waters.

Historic records indicate that sperm whale hunting during the early 1700s through 1880 resulted in a 29 percent decline in the sperm whale population worldwide. The founding of kerosene and the kerosene lamp are attributed with allowing this population to recover through the mid-1990s.

For further reading, see: Dvorsky, G 2012, ‘1846: The Year We Hit Peak Sperm Whale Oil,’ (


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