Real Life Moby Dick

09/23/2009

White Whale MigalooMoby Dick is real!  Photos of a white whale were taken off the coast of Australia this summer.  These sightings are not the first time this stunning creature has been spotted, however.  First seen in 1991, it made its most recent reappearance while undergoing its annual migration.  It hadn't been seen since 2007.

Whale researchers have determined that the whale is a male and have even given him a name: Migaloo.  In the language of the Aboriginal Australians Migaloo means "white fella."  It's a very fitting name.

Unlike the fictional Moby Dick, which was a sperm whale, Migaloo is a humpback whale. And while he might not have quite the global fame as Melville's whale, Migaloo's celebrity is growing.  He has his own website where you can report a sighting and you can even become his friend on Facebook.

Until recently, Migaloo was the only known white humpback whale, but an all-white humpback calf was photographed this year in the same waters, leading some to believe that Migaloo is now a daddy!

VIDEO: See Migaloo in his all-white glory in this Australian news report.

Photo: MARC McCORMACK. © 2009 The Cairns Post PTY LTD.


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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