The Great White Whale
April 24, 2012 2:41 AM   Subscribe

The first sighting of an all-white male orca (YouTube 1, 2) is reported by Eric Hoyt, Senior Fellow with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, UK.
posted by bardophile (13 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Oh wow, that's stunning. I wonder if its colouring is any disadvantage to it, in terms of vision problems caused by albinism or suchlike? Presumably it doesn't have to worry about being spotted by predators at least - other than humans, which, well, let's hope it's left alone! Beautiful.
posted by Catseye at 3:13 AM on April 24, 2012

I remember reading Eric Hoyt's books when I was a kid. He's great.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:25 AM on April 24, 2012

For more reading, video and images, the Far East Russia Orca Project website is available in Russian, English and Japanese. Erich Hoyt is the director of FEROP and the page's most recent news are about the albino orca.

This article from BBC News is worth pointing out too.
posted by tykky at 3:26 AM on April 24, 2012

Whale expert Philip Hoare wrote an editorial on the white Orca for the Guardian. Hoare also mentions the existence of a white whale off Australia.
posted by The River Ivel at 3:36 AM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

This story has got to be the holy grail for literature-slash-journalism majors until an actual dwarf pig from Denmark poisons his stepfather for some reason.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:14 AM on April 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

All references are careful to identify it as an all-white "male" orca - are females more common?
posted by double bubble at 5:07 AM on April 24, 2012

oh sure, more white male propaganda.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:19 AM on April 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

"Now, three to three, ye stand. Commend the murderous chalices! Bestow them, ye who are now made parties to this indissoluble league. Ha! Starbuck! but the deed is done! Yon ratifying sun now waits to sit upon it. Drink, ye harpooneers! drink and swear, ye men that man the deathful whaleboat's bow--Death to Moby Dick! God hunt us all, if we do not hunt Moby Dick to his death!" The long, barbed steel goblets were lifted; and to cries and maledictions against the white whale, the spirits were simultaneously quaffed down with a hiss.
posted by bukvich at 5:36 AM on April 24, 2012

I work for WDCS, but not in a science capacity.

double bubble I put your question to the team in the office and the answer is that white orcas are so rare that we don't have anywhere near enough data to ascertain whether this is more common in one gender than another.
posted by garrett at 7:04 AM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Kamchatka seems like it's an incredible place. I would love to go there.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:22 AM on April 24, 2012

It's not easy being white.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:06 AM on April 24, 2012

Obvious photoshop job . . .
posted by eggman at 12:48 PM on April 24, 2012

Garret, thank you!
posted by double bubble at 7:31 PM on April 24, 2012

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