Australians were enchanted by a rare albino humpback whale as he made his way down the Gold Coast on the annual migration pilgrimage from their Great Barrier Reef breeding grounds back to the Antarctic to feed.
The whale, who is named Migaloo, was first spotted in 1991 according to a CNN report. As he migrates from Antarctica to the warmer waters of North Queensland each year, he thrills locals and visitors alike, especially those specifically in search of whales whether for research or those on whale watching adventures. Oskar Peterson, who runs a website that tracks sightings of white whales around the world, told CNN: "Everyone here is quite excited. We see him almost every year now, but it's still front page news when he turns up."
Being the celebrity that he is, Migaloo even has his own website where his movements are tracked and people can report sightings. The Migaloo website states that for years Migaloo was thought to be the only all white Humpback Whale in the world. That all changed in 2010 when footage documenting a 100% all white baby humpback calf emerged, which has been named MJ (Migaloo Junior).
Humpback whales are found near coastlines, migrating annually between their summer feeding grounds where they dine on shrimp-like krill, plankton, and small fish, to warmer breeding waters near the Equator according to National Geographic. Known for their magical songs, which can travel for miles through the ocean, the whales use a sequences of moans, howls and cries to communicate with other whales and attract potential mates. They average in size between 48 to 62.5 ft (14.6 to 19 m) and approximately 40 tons and are on the endangered species list.