Eight things you need to know about Migaloo the white humpback whale



It’s a story that has been told for generations. The mystery of a great white whale which has puzzled sailors all over the world.

But in this modern twist, there is no Captain Ahab or Moby Dick.

Instead, this local tale is one of a curious and famous white humpback whale named ‘Migaloo’ who makes his annual 7,500km migration up the East Coast of Australia in search of warmer waters in Queensland.

If you’re lucky enough to spot Migaloo while on board with Captain Cook Cruises this whale watching season, here are 8 things you should know about this famous white humpback whale:

  1. Migaloo is a young male humpback whale, believed to have been born around 1986
  2. Migaloo means means ‘white fella’ in several Aboriginal languages
  3. While Migaloo is almost completely white, scientists refer to him as being ‘hypopigmented’ instead of albino
  4. Migaloo is granted extra protection than other humpback whales and vessels must keep at least a 500 metre away
  5. In addition to Migaloo, it is thought that there are only 3 other white whales in existence making a white whale sighting extremely rare. The other whales that scientists know of are named Bahloo, Willow and Migaloo Jnr. All of which are also humpbacks
  6. The last confirmed sighting of a white whale was off Port Stephens on 22 June 2020. It cannot be determined whether it was Migaloo or one of the other white whales
  7. Migaloo’s pigmentation has certainly allowed scientists to better understand whale migration patterns off the East Coast of Australia. He’s one of the world’s most closely watched whales.
  8. See detailed information about the most up to date sightings of white whales or to know where migaloo is now




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Updated 29 July 2020