Steganograph: Whaling

This was an experiment to see how much text I could fit into a steganographic image. This image contains the complete text of Melville's two novels, Moby Dick and Typee.


To decode it, you will need access to the original image, which I have stored here (the original website I found the image on is no longer up).


Each pixel stores 12 bits of hidden information, the data was compressed into a zip file and then used to modify the pixel values.


Interestingly, this method of steganography produces some significant compression savings:


Zipped Text: 693k

Original PNG file: 998k


if I simply zip these two files together, the result is 1,691k. But by using

steganography, the output PNG file is only 1,191k - a savings of 500k.


I assume the savings is related to the fact that you can't recover the text without access to the original image - there is not enough information in the output file to recover both input files.


More stuff by jbum:

Sudoku Puzzles by Krazydad

Wheel of Lunch

Whitney Music Box

The Joy of Processing

  • ricardo 9y

    I'm sure you're familiar with the following "joke":

    I have succeeded in encoding the entire text of Moby Dick in a single pixel. Thing is, the key to decode it is several hundred pages of text...
  • Jim Bumgardner 9y

    I hadn't heard that. Funny....

    In this case, a picture is worth 319,783 words.
  • John Keogh PRO 9y


    Very interesting results.
  • 1 1 9y

  • cobalt123 PRO 9y

    Just found this in your stream and the link to the original image does not work. Is there another location for it? Fascinating concept you've explained. I'd like to know more about it. Also very cool to do this with a historical painting of the period!
  • Jim Bumgardner 9y

    I've updated the link...
  • SantaRosa OLD SKOOL 8y

    The camouflage asks for a password!???

    Seen in Steganography (?)
  • Jim Bumgardner 8y

    The eagle flies by night. We repeat. The eagle flies by night.
  • Josh Millard PRO 8y

    Ha! That's great.
  • Matt Otto PRO 4y

    This is a greta image, but the link is broken again.
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Uploaded on October 1, 2006
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