Whale-watchers were treated to a unique sight in the waters off of Queensland, Australia, yesterday (August 10): a white humpback whale swimming close to the surface.
Queenland’s 7 News filmed the whale, and the lucky whale-watching boat, for an extended period of time slightly beyond the Gold Coast Seaway, where Moreton Bay meets the Pacific Ocean.
“It was just traveling along, cool as a cucumber, white as snow,” one tourist told 7 News in an interview back on shore.
Speculation arose that this was Migaloo, one of the most famous whales in the world. From the time he was first seen in 1991 to 2008, Migaloo was the only known white humpback in the world. Three others have been identified since, but they aren’t completely white like Migaloo. Whether or not he is completely albino is up for debate.
Ultimately, whale experts in Queensland determined that the charismatic mammal seen yesterday was merely a Migaloo look-alike—probably the whale known as “Migaloo Junior,” who was first identified as a calf swimming near the Great Barrier Reef in 2011. MJ is smaller and younger than Migaloo, who may or may not be his father.