An extremely rare white whale was spotted just off the coast of Australia. Initially believed to be the famed Migaloo, experts are now divided about the whale’s identity.
The albino whale, which is one of nature’s greatest rarities, was spotted swimming causally off the coat of Queensland, Australia. The aquatic mammal was spotted about four kilometers from the coast of Gold Coast Main Beach shortly after 10:30am on Monday, reported Nine News. Spotting the legendary white whale is surprisingly common, and many enthusiastic whale watchers are taken to the sea with the implied promise of coming across one of nature’s most beautiful oddities.
The name Migaloo is derived from an indigenous word for “white fella” in the local dialect. Though this rare white whale is often spotted off the eastern coast of Australia and has dedicated Twitter feeds and Facebook page to indicate the best spots to come across the gentle giant, experts now believe the whale isn’t Migaloo. Speaking about the chance encounter, Sea World scientist Trevor Long said,
“I have seen Migaloo and I have seen this other animal before. Now this animal is about eight or nine (metres) where Migaloo is a very large animal and is getting close to 30 (metres) now. We don’t have any photographs or past photographs to make an absolute identification, but going from the size this is a much smaller animal than Migaloo. The smaller whale is robust with a good swimming pattern. “
My view of Migaloo's son (Milo), Australia's 'only' all white humpback whale. pic.twitter.com/8vSBAA3LOQ— Kieran Becker Davies (@KieranBeeD) August 10, 2015
What beautifully complicates the matter is that some believe the white whale is “Son of Migaloo,” while others say the two whales aren’t even related. Interestingly, Sea World is leaning towards the former hypothesis, claiming the white whale spotted is “too small to be Migaloo, but is instead ‘Son of Migaloo.'” Merely adding to the uncertainty, Oskar Peterson, founder of the White Whale Research Centre, who also manages Migaloo’s Twitter account said,
“He seems to be very shining white, while last year he (Migaloo) had yellow coloring markings on him. Migaloo has scars on his back after he was run into by a trimaran last year.”
To top it, Gold Coast whale watching group Whales in Paradise claimed they spotted Migaloo today, reported HNGN. Despite the differences in opinion over the identity of the rare white whale, it is certainly a good sign to have two different albino whales, swimming across the ocean knowing they are protected from poachers.
[Image Credit | Migaloo Twitter Account]