A pink whale was spotted swimming off the coast of Newfoundland
A pink whale was spotted happily swimming off the coast of Newfoundland in early July, and the whale is so rosy-hued that you might think it had a sunburn.
Lorna Annette spotted the uniquely coloured whale — believed to be a minke whale — while she was in Long Beach on July 2.
The Newfoundland resident posted a video to Facebook showing the whale splashing in the water, blissfully unaware of the humans watching nearby.
Another Newfoundland resident has shared a video of another pink minke whale since then.
In the video, you can see that the whale's stomach has a reddish tinge to it too, as if it spent too long in the sun.
I wondered why the underbelly of this minke whale looked pink:— whales (@HeritageRowReno) July 15, 2020
“This explains the pinkish tinge of the normally white belly of a minke whale when [...] it is surface feeding: blood is rushed to the surface of the skin in order to avoid overheating” pic.twitter.com/5BdME3AlGR
So why are the whales pink?
Well, it could be because the whales are simply doing some massive bellyflops, according to Jack Lawson, a research scientist with Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans who spoke with CBC News.
Lawson said that he's seen pictures and a video of a minke whale smashing down hard on its belly while feeding.
When the whale rolled over, its stomach was tinged pink.
"So I think, like us, if we jumped off a diving board many times and landed on our bellies we'd get this nice pink undercoating," he said.
Lots of chatter about “pink” whales lately! They are minke whales. Our scientists have seen the photos and images and say it’s likely due to all the breaching and belly flopping they’re doing. Just like us when we go for a swim! #DFONL pic.twitter.com/XzeshIYUvG— DFO_NL (@DFO_NL) July 15, 2020
Lawson added that the rosy hue could also be a result of the mammal physically exerting itself, which causes blood to rush to the surface as a natural coolant.
The pink whale is certainly making waves with Canadians, many of whom have taken to social media to comment on the gentle pink giant.
"This majestic Pink whale made my morning," one person wrote.
"Pretty cool!" another person wrote. "Who knew!?"
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