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 Those who now sail to India speak of the size of these animals and their mode of appearance, but as coming neither in bodies nor frequently, yet as repulsed by shouts and by the sound of trumpets. They affirm that they do not approach the land, but that the bones of those which die, bared of flesh, are readily thrown up by the waves, and supply the Ichthyophagi with the above-mentioned material for the construction of their cabins. According to Nearchus, the size of these animals is three and twenty orguiæ in length.1 Nearchus says that he proved the confident belief of the sailors in the existence of an island situated in the passage, and destructive to those who anchored near it, to be false. A bark in its course, when it came opposite to this island, was never afterwards seen, and some men who were sent in search did not venture to disembark upon the island, but shouted and called to the crew, when, receiving no answer, they returned. But as all imputed this disappearance to the island, Nearchus said that he himself sailed to it, went ashore, disembarked with a part of his crew, and went round it. But not discovering any trace of those of whom he was in search, he abandoned the attempt, and informed his men that no fault was to be imputed to the island (for otherwise destruction would have come upon himself and those who disembarked with him), but that some other cause (and innumerable others were possible) might have occasioned the loss of the vessel.
1 About 140 feet. Arrian says twenty-five orguiæ, or about 150 feet.
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