An Up-Close Encounter With Migaloo, The Only Albino Humpback Whale In The World

Image credit: Craig Parry Photography /

The Pacific Whale Foundation has been following reported sightings of Migaloo, the rare albino whale.

Migaloo in the Aboriginal Australian language means “White Fella” and the name was coined by the Vice President of the foundation, Paul Forestell, based on advice from an Aboriginal elder.

Migaloo is certainly one of mother natures rarest creations. He is just one of around 35,000-plus humpback whales that migrate along the east coast of Australia each year, all the way from the cold waters of the Antarctic to the warm and tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef, and then back again.

Each year, many of the whale’s obsessive fans try and capture the beautiful white humpback through the lens of their cameras. Imagine how lucky you would feel to catch a glimpse of Migaloo with your own eyes. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Migaloo might already be one of the world’s best-known animals.

He immediately earned a legendary reputation after he was first spotted in 1991 by the Pacific Whale Foundation.

He was recently spotted again off the Australian coast near Sydney. “

We got extremely lucky and Migaloo come up just a few feet next to our boat, what a sight that was!

Jonas Liebschner of Whale Watching Sydney said.

Migaloo initially gained notoriety as one of very few white whales known to us humans. Although there have been reports of others, Migaloo is the only one to have been captured via a photograph.

He is believed to be around 31 years old. Although Humpback whales can live up 80 years, since Migaloo is an albino, he is likley to be riddled with health problems, which is part of the reason why albino animals are so rare in the wild.

A recent closeup sighting showed Migaloo to have skin cancer and/or skin cysts as a result of his lack of protection from the sun due to his white coloration.

Written by Joe Kahlo

After years of writing in the financial industry, Joe was finally able to focus his writing on what he loves, Animals!