Hast thou seen the White Whale? He’s off the coast of Australia (and on Twitter)


Migaloo being Migaloo, off the coast of Australia’s Byron Bay, photographed with another, much-less-famous not-white whale. (Getty Images)

Call him Migaloo.

Because that’s his name, after all. Migaloo — an albino humpback whale that is something of a celebrity in Australia (as much as albino humpback whales can become celebrities in Australia) — is drawing crowds along the continent’s eastern coastline, where he’s been spotted during his annual migration.

“He’s been around for quite a while and he cruises up and down the east coast of Australia every year, but some years he goes missing in action so to speak,” Oskar Peterson of the White Whale Research Centre told the Independent. “He sort of glows in the water like a fluorescent blue. He’s quite an amazing sight.”

For those among us who aren’t up on their whale-related knowledge: Albino humpbacks are extremely rare. According to news reports, a white whale calf was seen a few years ago, and another white humpback has been spotted off the Norwegian coast.

Migaloo — reportedly first seen in 1991 — has a fairly large fan club already. He’s popular among photographers and tourism companies (and the news media), and there’s legislation in place to make sure the humpback (and other whales) aren’t harassed by observers.

“Mate, I can go to the grave happy now,” Ray Alley, who captured images of Migaloo earlier this month, told the Daily Mail. “This is the holy grail for me.”

You can follow Migaloo’s journey on Twitter, because of course you can. His movements are being tracked at @Migaloo1.

Sarah Larimer is a general assignment reporter for the Washington Post.
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