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Super Rare White Killer Whale Spotted Swimming Off The Coast Of Alaska

Wait, is “white killer whale” seriously a thing? Do they really exist? The answer is yes, but they are extremely rare. Only a few white killer whales (orcas) have been recorded in history and people believe that currently there are only about five individuals left in the world.

With that level of unusualness, of course, catching a glimpse of one is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Image source: worldtravelstephanie

A juvenile named Tl’uk (which is the Coast Salish word for “moon”) has been spotted by a group of whale watchers on August 7 while they were aboard Alaska Sea Adventures’ Northern Song off the coast of Kuiu and Kupreanof Islands, Alaska. At that moment, the two-year-old male was swimming alongside a pair of adult killer whales and to be honest, its performance was quite a scene.

The wonderful moment was captured and shared by Stéphanie Hayes – a marine biologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

According to Dennis Rogers – the owner of Sea Adventures, the pale color made this orca way more eye-catching in the ocean.

“When (killer whales go) underwater, usually they disappear and are very hard to follow,” he said. “But having a white one under the water, you could see him an easy ten feet below the surface, this big white shape moving along there.”

“A once in a lifetime sighting, killer whales with leucism are incredibly rare and even researchers never expect to see one in their career,” Hayes wrote on her Instagram while sharing the mesmerizing video. “Tl’uk appears to be a healthy member of his pod, and we welcome him on his first documented sighting in Alaska.”

Even though this little mammal is pretty while, it isn’t albino, but leucistic instead. While albinism results in the complete loss of pigmentation, leucism only causes a partial loss.

“Why is it white, is it albino? The white killer whale isn’t albino, it is leucistic,” Hayes shared in another post. “If you look closely you can see the semblance of killer whale color patterns, it is just very pale!”

If you find this news interesting enough, share it with your loved ones!

H/T: NYPost

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