See the first-ever video of the World’s rarest whale in the wild. This video shows the first confirmed ocean sighting of the elusive Omura whale.
Until now, there hasn’t been a single confirmed sighting of the Omura whale in the wild. Researchers working off the coast of Madagascar have captured this footage of the whales, a species so uncommon that scientists previously had no idea how many there actually are in the world.
“Over the years, there have been a small handful of possible sightings of Omura’s whales, but nothing that was confirmed,” alvatore Cerchio, who led the research team, of the New England Aquarium and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said in a news release. “They appear to occur in remote regions and are difficult to find at sea, because they are small and do not put up a prominent blow.”
The team first spotted the whales in 2011 and initially believed them to be Bryde’s whales. “When we clearly saw that the right jaw was white, and the left jaw was black, we knew that we were on to something very special,” said Cerchio. The researchers were able to collect skin samples from the whales, which confirmed the rare find in 2013.
- Omura whales are generally between 33 feet and 38 feet (approximately 10 – 11 metres) in length. This is more or less half the size of most blue whales.
Photograph credit: Salvatore Cerchio