White Whale Sighted

Wed, 05 Aug 2015

By Tangalooma Island Resort

Rare White Whale Sighted at Tangalooma

Today was a very exciting whale watch cruise… We had already heard the news that an all white humpback whale was spotted off the Gold Coast yesterday, making his way north, meaning he should be passing through our area sometime today. And sure enough, when we got out there, we managed to find him just North of Flinders Reef, slowly travelling North!

We are so lucky to spot one of only three white whales in a population of almost 20,000

White whales are extremely rare, there are thought to be only four known all white humpback whales in the world. One of them (named "Willow") lives in the Arctic, in the northern hemisphere. The other three are all members of our East-Australian population. The most famous white whale of course is Migaloo who was first spotted off the East coast of Australia 24 years ago, in 1991. He was thought to be a young adult then so should now be in his late 20's early 30's, in other words a fully grown male (his gender was confirmed by DNA testing of a skin sample). He has been making regular appearances along our coastline for the last 20 years or so. Another white adult called Bahloo was first seen around the Great Barrier Reef in 2008, but has been spotted much less frequently. Bahloo is also not 100% white, with a few black spots on his head and tail. The third of our Australian white whales is a juvenile called Migaloo Junior or MJ who was first seen as a calf in 2011. He or she seems to be completely white just like Migaloo and has been speculated (though not confirmed) to have been fathered by Migaloo himself.

As for today's white whale, there seems to be a bit of disagreement as to whether it was Migaloo himself or MJ. Personally, I believe it was MJ we got to meet today, as it seemed to be a juvenile-sized whale, not a fully grown adult, and also the dorsal fin looks to me slightly different from that of Migaloo who we got lucky enough to spot 3 years ago.

Either way, it was an amazing view to see this beautiful bright white creature emerging from the dark blue water! And so lucky to spot one of only three white whales in a population of almost 20,000!

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Tangalooma Island Resort

Take the world's 3rd largest sand island…add a splash of sunshine, balmy sea breezes, a dash of discovery and a handful of adventure, and you've got Tangalooma Island Resort. An island oasis, just a 75 minute cruise from Brisbane.

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