Photos of a rare white humpback whale calf are making waves on the internet, and raising questions about another famous whale.
Wayne Fewings and family were diving off the coast of Australia when they saw calf and mother swimming nearby. According to the Huffington Post, Fewings spotted the calf approaching their boat. “The calf, being a silly pup, when he popped his head out and saw the boat I think that excited his interest and he started to come towards us, but his mother didn’t like that too much so she got him away, but we managed to capture all the photos.”
Some are asking if this calf could be related to Migaloo, a white humpback whale that has become famous after several sightings, starting in 1991. Yes, you can even follow Migaloo on Twitter. However, the experts aren’t too sure. According to the Townsville Bulletin, Mark Read of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said, “It would be pure speculation, we would have to get genetic material from the calf and then analyse that and its relationship to Migaloo…We know from basic genetics that this animal could have come from a dark mum and dark father and Wayne Fewings, who took the photograph, said the female was in attendance was a standard dark humpback.”
Migaloo relative or not, the sighting of the all white humpback calf was a lucky and rare one, as Read says of the approximately 14,000 humpbacks that migrate between Australia and Antarctica annually, only 10-15 are white or mostly white.