I wonder if it will be friends with me!
—The whale's attitude to the fast approaching ground[src]

The Magrathean sperm whale was the co-product of the Infinite Improbability Drive and its reality-warping field interacting with two guided missiles above Magrathea, the other outcome being a bowl of petunias.

The probability of this occurring was 8,767,128 to 1 against.[1] The whale has an existential life of discovery which lasts a minute before it hits the ground, leaving a large crater and whale remains.


The Magrathean sperm whale appeared in:

Behind the scenes[]

Magrathean whale-tv

The whale at the start of its fall, from the 1981 TV series

  • The whale was voiced by:
  • While the whale was falling in the television series, the song Whale Theme played, a composition by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
  • In Fallout 2, there is a special encounter with a carcass of a dead sperm whale and a broken bowl of flowers. This is a reference to the Magrathean sperm whale and the accompanying bowl of petunias.
  • Another reference to the whale and bowl of petunias is in the video game Kerbal Space Program. On the moon Laythe, there is a sperm whale skeleton and a smashed bowl of petunias.

Notes and references[]

  1. In the book this probability is spoken by Eddie the Computer, while in the movie it is spoken by the Guide, voiced by Stephen Fry

External links[]