A harpoon is a long spear-like instrument used in fishing, whaling, sealing, and other marine hunting to catch large fish or marine mammals such as whales. It accomplishes this task by impaling the target animal and securing it with barb or toggling claws, allowing the fishermen to use a rope or chain attached to the projectile to catch the animal. A harpoon can also be used as a weapon.


The Philae spacecraft carried harpoons for helping the probe anchor itself to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. However, the harpoons failed to fire.[13][14]

See also


  1. Yellen, JE; AS Brooks; E Cornelissen; MJ Mehlman; K Stewart (28 April 1995). "A middle stone age worked bone industry from Katanda, Upper Semliki Valley, Zaire". Science. 268 (5210): 553–556. doi:10.1126/science.7725100. PMID 7725100.
  2. Guthrie, Dale Guthrie (2005) The Nature of Paleolithic Art. Page 298. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-31126-0
  3. Polybius, "Fishing for Swordfish", Histories Book 34.3 (Evelyn S. Shuckburgh, translator). London, New York: Macmillan, 1889. Reprint Bloomington, 1962.
  4. Ray 2003, page 93
  5. Allchin 1975, page 106
  6. Edgerton 2003, page 74
  7. Melville, Herman (1892). Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. Boston: St. Botolph Society. p. 337.
  8. Melville (1851), p. 363.
  9. Tønnessen, Johan Nicolay; Johnsen, Arne Odd (1982). The History of Modern Whaling. University of California Press. pp. 17–19. ISBN 9780520039735. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  10. Tønnessen, Johan Nicolay; Johnsen, Arne Odd (1982). The History of Modern Whaling. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520039735. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  11. Ellis, Richard (1999). Men and Whales. The Lyons Press. pp. 255–265. ISBN 978-1-55821-696-9.
  12. Tonnessen, Johan; Johnsen, Arne (1982). The history of modern whaling. University of California Press. pp. 16–36. ISBN 978-0-520-03973-5.
  13. "Philae touches down on the surface of a comet". CNN. 12 November 2014.
  14. Aron, Jacob. "Problems hit Philae after historic first comet landing" New Scientist.


  • Lødingen Local History Society (1986) Yearbook Lødingen. The modern history of whaling, ISBN 82-990715-7-7 .
  • Lødingen local historical society (1999/2000) Yearbook Lødingen. More about Jacob Nicolai Walsøe, granatharpunens inventor, ISBN 82-90924-07-0.
  • Information about Erik Eriksen based on The Discovery of King Karl Land, Spitsbergen, by Adolf Hoel, The Geographical Review Vol. XXV, No. 3, July, 1935, Pp. 476–478, American Geographical Society, Broadway AT 156th Street, New York" and Store norske leksikon, Aschehoug & Gyldendal (Great Norwegian Encyclopedia, last edition)
  • F.R. Allchin in South Asian Archaeology 1975: Papers from the Third International Conference of the Association of South Asian Archaeologists in Western Europe, Held in Paris (December 1979) edited by J.E.van Lohuizen-de Leeuw. Brill Academic Publishers, Incorporated. Pages 106-118. ISBN 90-04-05996-2.
  • Edgerton; et al. (2002). Indian and Oriental Arms and Armour. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-42229-1.
  • Ray, Himanshu Prabha (2003). The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-01109-4.
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