— 7 News Queensland (@7NewsQueensland) August 10, 2015
We've found our white whale, guys. Literally.
Mashable reports that the sighting of a rare white humpback whale has Australia all in a tizzy. Some are hoping that the whale spotted Monday is Migaloo, a famous cetacean who when first sighted in 1991 had the distinction of being the only confirmed living white humpback.
Experts have told the Australian Associated Press that the recently spotted whale is unlikely to be Migaloo. It is too small and too white -- the famous whale had a yellow tint when he was last seen -- plus it seems to lack some distinctive scars and injuries. But it might be one of his offspring, at least by name.
— Migaloo the Whale (@Migaloo1) August 10, 2015
“It’s probably Migaloo Junior,” White Whale Research Centre founder Oskar Peterson told the AAP. It may even be a whale that was dubbed the "son of Migaloo" during a previous sighting in 2011. There's no actual indication that Migaloo is related to this other famous whale.
There are currently three white humpback whales that are known to travel past Australia as they head north from the Antarctic Ocean. Migaloo and his "son" are two of them, and a third whale has black spots on its tail. Famous for being a rare true albino -- one with no coloration at all -- Migaloo drew lots of attention when first spotted 24 years ago. In fact, the Australian government had to put special protections on albino humpback whales to keep whale-watching boats from crowding Migaloo, who was showing signs of stress.
The owner of a local whale-watching company called Whales in Paradise claims to have evidence that the whale spotted Monday is in fact Migaloo himself, but the Australian news outlet 9news, which reported the claim, has not received word on what the alleged evidence is.