White Whale Spotted Off Coast of Norway

Published on November 16th, 2012 | by

Willow the White Humpback Whale

A rare white whale was spotted off the coast of Norway by a British engineer.  Dan Fisher was on a boat trip when he saw the white whale surface.  He filmed the whale surfacing (video below).

The white humpback whale is being called Willow.  The white is likely caused by leucism, a condition which reduces all pigmentation in the skin.  It’s rare for animals with leucism to grow up in the wild.  Without their natural coloring, animals become easily visible to predators.  Willow is an adult whale living in a pod, so doesn’t face dangers from sharks or orca any more.

Willow is not the only white humpback whale out there.  Migaloo, likely an albino rather than leucistic whale, swims along the Australian coast.  Wikipedia reports that a white humpback whale calf was spotted off the coast of Wales in 2006 with its mother.  Perhaps that calf is Willow.

Willow photo from video, (c) Dan Fisher/Barcroft

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