Humpback Whale #1210, known worldwide as Migaloo due to his unique coloring — quite possibly the only all-white adult humpback whale alive today — was first spotted in 1991 off Byron Bay, Queensland, Australia by volunteers conducting a whale count. The first photograph of Migaloo, taken through a telescope from a distance of over five kilometers away, was blurry and difficult to ascertain if he was indeed completely white. However, researchers were able to estimate his age at the time to be approximately three to five years. In 1993, Pacific Whale Foundation researchers encountered this amazing white whale in Hervey Bay, Queensland, and were able to confirm that Migaloo was all white. Then in 1998, PWF researchers recorded the whale singing, a trait distinct to male humpback whales. Genetic testing in 2004 by Southern Cross University scientists further confirmed that Migaloo is a male. A 2011 study of his DNA by researchers at the Australian Marine Mammal Centre confirmed that Migaloo is a true albino.
Research activities authorized by Queensland government