Giglioli’s Whale, Amphiptera pacifica

The Giglioli’s Whale was discovered by zoologist Enrico Hillyer Giglioli on September 4, 1867, 1200 miles of the coast of Chile. He did not recognize the whale as any known species.

It was observed for 15 minutes swimming close to his ship. Giglioli described the whale as being 60 feet long with an elongated body and having two dorsal fins 6.5 feet apart. No other known species of whale has two dorsal fins. It had long sickle-shaped flippers and lacked furrows under the throat.

Another sighting occurred off the coast of Scotland in 1868. In 1983, French zoologist Jacques Maigret reported a similar creature between Corsica and the French mainland.

The whale’s existence has not been proven, but still was classified by Giglioli as a new species. An explanation given for this whale is that it could be a genetic mutation rather than a separate species.

Image Caption: An 1870 illustration of Giglioli’s Whale by Enrico Hillyer Giglioli. Credit: Enrico Hillyer Giglioli/Wikipedia