It must be an awesome sight to actually see this in real life and some scientists have actually had the experience.  They believe it’s the first sighting of an adult white killer whale or Orca as it’s also known.   They gave it the nickname ’Iceberg’ and it was spotted off the coast of Russia.  All seems to be well with it and it’s living as part of an established and healthy pod in that area.

 

There have been other claims to have seen white versions of other whale types.  In fact there was one in captivity in Canada, however all these were very young and none survived very long.  This particular whale was postted from a ship conducting a research cruise run by Russian scientists and their students.  They also claimed to have seen white orcas before but again never an adult one.   They are estimating that Iceberg is about 15 years old and a male.

It’s not known exactly what has caused this unusual pigment, but there are various health and genetic conditions that could explain his coloring.

There have been lots of other sightings of different species of whale which have this albino trait.  However surely  the most famous white whale is a fictional one – the star of the book Moby Dick and his battles with Captain Ahab.  There is a lot more information on this subject on the BBC website – in fact if you are quick you’ll pick up some cracking natural history programmes on IPlayer.  If you have difficult accessing the site because you outside the UK – this post explains how you can use a UK proxy to gain access to British TV like the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player wherever you are.

 Video Source – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4KNKrYgK2k

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