In a momentous discovery, the world’s rarest whale, an all-white Omura’s whale, has been sighted off the coast of Thailand, marking only the second time in history that such an occurrence has been captured on film.
According to recent news reports, tourists aboard a charter boat near Phuket were fortunate enough to witness this extraordinary event as they spotted a pair of rare Omura’s whales swimming together in the Andaman Sea, one of which was completely white.
The remarkable footage of this unique all-white creature was shared with the environmental conservation organization ThaiWhales and local authorities. ThaiWhales, in turn, posted the video on Facebook, describing it as a “first-of-its-kind and thrilling marine discovery.” In the footage, the all-white whale can be seen swimming alongside the charter boat, leaving tourists in awe of the rare sight.
Thon Thamrongnawasawat from ThaiWhales confirmed that this is the first time an all-white Omura’s whale has been spotted in Thailand. The sighting was promptly reported to Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, prompting a search to locate the rare animal. Despite extensive efforts, officials were unable to locate the all-white whale. However, during the search, they managed to spot at least four other Omura’s whales in the vicinity, feeding and swimming near popular destinations like the Phi Phi Islands, Coral Island, and Honeymoon Island.
Omura’s whales, considered to be one of the most enigmatic species of whales, were first observed in 2003 as deceased carcasses and later spotted alive for the first time in 2015. These whales have distinctive features such as long, slender bodies resembling a ‘snake-like’ appearance, a small and strongly twisted or bent dorsal fin, and a single ridge on the front of their heads. Growing up to 40 feet in length and weighing as much as 44,000 pounds, Omura’s whales typically inhabit tropical and warm seas.
Despite their uniqueness, scientists still have limited information about Omura’s whales, including uncertainties about their population size, distribution, and potential variations in appearance. The recent sighting of the Omura’s whale in Thailand adds to the ongoing efforts to unravel the mysteries surrounding these elusive and rare marine creatures.