White whales are very rare, but in the last couple of days there have been sightings off both New Zealand and Australia.
An adult white humpback whale, possibly the famous whale known as Migaloo, has been seen off the coast of Gisborne on New Zealand’s North Island.
Meanwhile, off Lennox Head in New South Wales, a white whale calf was sighted by a passing paraglider. The mother of the calf has the usual dark colouration of a humpback whale.
The white colouration in whales can be the result of either true albinism or leucism, where there may just be partial loss of pigmentation. As well as humpbacks, the condition has also been seen in other species of whales and dolphins.