Migaloo is the most famous white humpback whale in Australia. He was initially spotted in 1991, and then again in 2020. As research suggests, Migaloo is possibly the first whale in the eastern humpback whale population to be fully white. He has not been officially spotted for the past couple of years. Therefore, many people are speculating that Migaloo is dead.
Every year, between the months of May and November, humpback whales make their annual pilgrimage. They travel from Antarctica to the waters off northeast Australia. However, despite multiple false sightings, the white humpback whale hasn’t appeared since June 2020.
The first sighting of the whale was in 1991 off Byron Bay, and researchers have been keeping an eye on him ever since. The fully white whale was named “Migaloo” because it means “white fella” in some indigenous languages.
Migaloo is a very special creature because, in the entire eastern humpback whale population, he’s believed to be the first fully white one. Needless to say, researchers were incredibly surprised by Migaloo’s coloring.
Dr. Vanessa Pirotta, a Marine Scientist from the Macquarie University, shared her thoughts about Migaloo’s sightings with The Conversation. First of all, various social factors including how Migaloo interacts with fellow males affect the sightings. Also, environmental conditions in places where Migaloo decides to swim, such as ocean temperature and currents, impact these sightings.
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Last but not least, artificial threats such as colliding with boats and fishing gear, and natural threats like being hunted by killer whales, can affect these sightings. So, if you’re interested in this story, check out the pics and the video above and share your thoughts with us in the comments.