Migaloo, the white humpback whale, was first photographed whilst passing through Byron Bay, Australia in 1991. Since then, its sightings have become much more regular.
The whale was at the time the only sighted white humpback whale in the world. Fortunately, researchers from the Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre were able to collect DNA samples in 2004.
From these samples, scientists were able to figure out a great deal about Migaloo. Firstly, they think that the whale was around 3-5 years old when it was first spotted. Furthermore, they learned that if the whale stays healthy, it could live up to another 50 years!
Moreover, scientists were able to deduce that the white humpback is a male from his song. Both male and female humpbacks are able to produce sound. However, only male humpbacks sing the melodic humpback songs.
Many believe that Migaloo is an albino whale, but there are no tests to prove that as of yet. People often refer to Migaloo as a “Hypo-pigmented” humpback.
While Migaloo is extremely rare, he is not the only white whale out there. Willow, another white humpback, lives in the Arctic and was last spotted in 2012. Also, Bahloo lurks around somewhere near Migaloo in the Great Barrier reef.
There are definitely more white whales out in the ocean but most of them have yet to surface. For now, Migaloo is the only one who is confident enough to make the occasional appearance.
A website dedicated to the white humpback has a whole section that records sightings of the whale. Anyone can send their pictures or videos to them if you’re lucky enough to spot the white whale.
A Queensland and Commonwealth Government legislation gives Migaloo a certain amount of protection from potential harassment. The fine for breaching this law is $16,500.
Let’s hope the white humpback stays protected and lives a healthy life!