Rare white sperm whale — like Moby Dick — captured on video

A sperm whale with the identical uncommon colouring because the fictional Moby Dick has been noticed off the coast of Jamaica.

A video of the white whale was posted on Facebook Tuesday by SOS Dolfijn, a rescue group for stranded whales and dolphins primarily based within the Netherlands. 

The distant, blurry video exhibits a number of the whale’s white pores and skin and vapour spouting from the whale’s blowhole because it surfaces.

SOS Dolfijn stated the animal was about 10 metres lengthy and recognized it as a sperm whale — the identical species as Moby Dick, the famed white whale from American author Herman Melville’s nineteenth century novel. 

Shane Gero, a scientist in residence at Carleton University and founding father of the Dominica Sperm Whale Project, who has seen the video, confirmed it is “definitely a sperm whale.”

SOS Dolfijn stated the video had been despatched to them by an worker, Annemarie van den Berg. She had obtained it from her husband, Leo van Toly, the captain of a service provider ship, who had noticed the whale Monday while crusing alongside the coast of Jamaica, reported Dutch media network RTL Nieuws.

Sperm whales are usually darkish gray or brown.

Gero referred to as the sighting of a white sperm whale a uncommon occasion. “It’s awesome,” he stated. “Obviously, it’s exciting.”

Sperm whales are usually brown or gray. (Chris Bangs/Guam Variety News/The Associated Press)

In latest years, an grownup white sperm whale has been photographed off the Azores, in addition to a calf off Dominica.

The one seen off Jamaica was concerning the measurement of an grownup feminine within the Caribbean, Gero stated, though it wasn’t recognized whether or not the whale noticed was male or feminine. Males develop a lot bigger, as much as 18 metres lengthy.

If it’s feminine, it is unlikely to be the identical calf seen in Dominica, as feminine whales stay in multi-generational households that do not journey very far inside the area, stated Gero, who research the whales’ tradition, household lives and communication.

Males vary farther; male sperm whales noticed in Canada could have come from the Caribbean.

There hasn’t been a variety of analysis on sperm whales off Jamaica, Gero stated, however he is fairly fascinated with performing some.

The pleasure over the latest sighting and the references to Moby Dick are a reminder of how essential whales had been to society, he stated, significantly in offering gas within the type of whale oil earlier than fossil fuels existed.

Moby Dick is a e book about that whaling business, where the character Captain Ahab is obsessed with getting revenge on the extremely recognizable whale that bit off one among his legs from the knee down.

“It’s been a cultural icon, in at least the English-speaking world, for a long, long time,” Gero stated.

Sperm whales are discovered all through the world’s oceans and within the Mediterranean Sea. Before industrial whaling, there have been about 1.1 million on the planet, however the present inhabitants is simply about 360,000, according to the Dominica Sperm Whale Project.

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