White Orca – For real.

While claims had been made in the past regarding a ‘white killer whale’ in the north Bering and central Aleutians, these sightings were generally considered spurious.  No record of the sightings was every obtained, nor were scientists able to confirm whether or not the sighted animals were, in fact, ‘killer whales’.  This time, however, there’s proof.  An entire team of federal scientists saw this one.  Furthermore, there’s now both photographic and video evidence of the whale’s existence.

I appreciate the science that motivated early resistance to the myth of the ‘white killer whale’.   I’m even more appreciative of the explanation of the whale itself – the idea that it’s probably not a true albino, since it has brownish and yellowish markings.  Ok, I don’t get this.  How can an albino python have orange patches, and this guy with brownish ones is not a ‘true albino’?  Of course, they say albinos typically have other health problems and don’t survive long in the wild, and this one has probably been around since 1993.  But really?

Also, this is probably due to the article writer rather than the scientist, but there’s no such thing as a killer whale. Or, more formally, the animal known commonly as the ‘killer whale’ is not a whale at all – it’s a dolphin.  So this whole thing about a ‘white killer whale’ is completely a myth.


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