A rare white whale was observed by a teenager off the coast of northern New South Wales.
The sighting increases the chance that Migaloo, the famed white whale, has given birth.
Brayden Blake, 16, videotaped a white humpback whale swimming around 500 meters off the coast of Fingal Head in Coolangatta, Australia, on Thursday.
Migaloo, Australia’s famed whale called after an indigenous phrase for “white fella,” frequently migrates north along the east coast at this time of year.
Scientists believe the whale is the offspring of the famous humpback whale, which has yet to be observed this season.
According to marine researcher Dr Wally Franklin, it might be a ‘extremely uncommon’ second white albino whale in the eastern Australian whale family.
“This is the first time I’ve been able to state that the white whale I’m staring at could be anything but Migaloo.”
“Because it’s still very early in the season, the time of the observation is consistent with it being a younger whale,” said Dr Franklin, who also distinguishes the adored whale by the knobs on his dorsal fin.
Migaloo is likely to come in late June or early July, whether it is a distinct whale or the child of the adored whale.
“He’s been pretty consistent with those early sightings, so it may be a solid sign that this is a second white whale, which would be extraordinary in and of itself.”
Brayden, who works for Surf Life Saving NSW and uses drones to monitor sharks, captured footage of the white critter interacting with a pod of dolphins on his own drone.
“I was out for a paddle and a surf with a friend out the back… and heard this strange singing or screaming noise,” Blake explained to The Guardian.
He was taken aback by the humpback’s hue as he dashed home to retrieve his drone and record the clip.
“I’d seen typical humpback whales before, but this one was different. “Every time it returned for a breath of air, it was white,” he explained.
Every year between May and November, the humpback whale population migrates from Antarctica to the warmer waters off the coast of north-east Australia.
They return south with their offspring after mating and giving birth.
Migaloo is one of the estimated 40,000 whales, but he is considered exceptionally rare due to his peculiar pigmentation.
Migaloo was discovered in Hervey Bay in 1991, and experts have been following the species ever since.
Migaloo’s hue aroused experts’ curiosity because he was supposed to be the eastern humpback whale population’s first totally white whale.