Researchers were stunned last week when a gray whale was sighted in Israel. It is believed to be the first such sighting outside the Pacific Ocean in 300 years!
Typically, gray whales are only found in the Pacific Ocean. After years of hunting, they vanished in the North Atlantic around the 17th or 18th centuries.
In order to be spotted in the Mediterranean Sea, the gray whale traveled “a huge distance from its natural habitat thousands of kilometers away,” and one researcher said it was “bizarre in the extreme,” per BBC.
Researcher Phillip Clapham of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said:
“There are really only two explanations: that there has been a relict population in the N Atlantic that no one has noticed (virtually impossible), or (more likely) that this whale came down through the ice-free Northwest Passage and is now hopelessly lost.”