Whale watching can be a pretty amazing activity in and of itself. But when you see an albino whale, well, that just takes things to the next level. For Brady Stump of Western Australia, this was exactly what happened in early September 2018, though.
While looking at wildlife near the Dampier Archipelago (a group of islands near Dampier, Western Australia), Stump spotted a group of whales that looked "relaxed," as he told the Western Australian.
Stump went on to tell Western Australian that the Dampier Archipelago is a wonderful place for whale-watching and that he hopes to see the white whale again in the future if it returns.
white or albino whales aren't very common, when they do make appearances, it is a pretty big deal and unsurprisingly gets quite a bit of media coverage.
The most famous white whale was also originally spotted near Australia. The giant white humpback whale, named Migaloo, was first spotted in 1991, according to Australian Geographic.
When Migaloo was first seen, it was believed that he was the only albino whale in the world. While Migaloo isn't the only white whale in the world anymore, he still has special protections in comparison to other whales.
As the Australian Geographic article states, Migaloo is protected by the Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act Regulations.
But for Migaloo in particular, if a vessel comes within 500 meters of him, they will be fined $16,500. Basically, Migaloo is kind of a big deal.
While Migaloo isn't technically an albino while (instead scientists refer to him as hyper-pigmented), it's still possible that the white whale Stump spotted in Western Australian this month is, in fact, albino.
As Stump told
ABC West, he pointed out the whale — which he has nicknamed "Muru" after Murujuga National Park, located near where the animal was spotted — to wildlife authorities. This means that we all might have a better chance of not only spotting, but also tracking and protecting, "Muru" in the future.