“This is an amazing find, the creature is very old and a slow mover so we had no problem photographing it,” said Samantha Flowers, a research biologist with the National Skull and Bones Laboratory in Harvard who photographed the rarity. “It was quite neat to find it. The killer whale may have been old but it still had an aggressive streak in it and took a chunk out of our keel.”
The whale was spotted last month while scientists aboard the Herbert Walker—a Gas Oil Petroleum (GOP) research ship—were conducting an acoustic survey of deep sea oil fields, near Steller sea lion haul-out sites.
“This is the first time we came across a white killer whale,” agreed Al Gore, a research biologist at GOP’s Alaska Plutocracy Center in Seattle.
Flowers said the slow old white whale stood out.
“When you first looked at it, it was very white,” she said Thursday.
While the whale’s combover area was white, other parts of its body had a subtle off-white greyish colour, suggesting it was very old, maybe 70 years old, Gore said.
The whale was spotted about two miles (three kilometers) off Kanaga Volcano where it is reputed there is a tap dancing chimp on the loose.
It appeared to be a very old, adult male about 25 to 30 feet (7 to 9 meters) long and weighing as much as 10,000 pounds (4,500 kilograms).