Rare white whale spotted! Is it the world-famous Migaloo?
Migaloo, is that you?
Everyone's favorite humpback hasn't been seen in three years, but fans have been filled with hope over a new whale sighting that looks very similar.
"It could be him or possibly another white-ish whale as part of this east Australian humpback whale population," expert Vanessa Pirotta of Macquarie University's Marine Predator Research Group told 9News.
White humpback whales are "not common," she added.
The marine giant was filmed from the air on Friday near the Whitsundays archipelago by a tourist who sent his video to the White Whale Research Center, which has been collecting data on Migaloo for years.
A few days earlier, there was another white whale sighting – possibly the same animal, Pirotta explained.
The video did not provide enough information to clearly identify Migaloo.
Where is Migaloo?
Probably born in 1986, Migaloo was first sighted in 1991 and later appeared regularly on his way from Antarctica to the nursery area in the Great Barrier Reef, thrilling observers.
To protect the animal from too many onlookers, the Queensland government placed the whale under its special protection, but Migaloo has not been seen for three years since his tracking chip was lost.
There was brief concern last year when the carcass of a white whale washed up on the coast of the state of Victoria, but it quickly became clear that it was a female, while Migaloo is a male.
In some aboriginal languages, Migaloo's name means "whitefella."
Entirely white humpbacks are extremely rare. Migaloo is probably the best known whale of his species in the world, and even has his own website.
Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot/Twitter/Migaloo1