From 1880 to 1882, two impresarios toured the decaying body of a dead whale throughout the United States as a sideshow exhibition called the “Prince of Whales.” The dead whale show lay at the intersection of two important vectors in environmental humanities research: oceans and energy. This essay explores some of the epistemological and ontological problems posed by the whale show, demonstrating that methods and theories drawn from the history of the senses, media studies, and infrastructure studies can enrich the environmental humanities by offering new approaches to materiality and putrefaction.