Giglioli's Whale

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Giglioli's Whale
Amphiptera pacifica.jpg
As drawn by Giglioli himself
Sub groupingWhale
Other name(s)Amphiptera pacifica
CountryChile, Scotland

Giglioli's Whale (Amphiptera pacifica) is a purported species of whale observed by Enrico Hillyer Giglioli. It is described as having two dorsal fins. The species is not recognized by the general scientific community.


On September 4, 1867 on board a ship called the Magenta about 1,200 miles (1,900 km) off the coast of Chile, the zoologist spotted a species of whale which he could not recognize. It was very close to the ship (too close to shoot with a cannon) and was observed for a quarter of an hour, allowing Giglioli to make very detailed observations. The whale looked overall similar to a rorqual, 60 feet (18 m) long with an elongated body, but the most notable difference was the presence of two large dorsal fins about 6.5 feet (2 m) apart. No known whales have twin dorsal fins; the rorqual only has a single fin and some other whales have none. Other unusual features include the presence of two long sickle-shaped flippers and a lack of furrows present under the throats of rorquals.

Another report of a two finned whale of roughly the same size was recorded from the fishing boat Lily off the coast of Aberdeenshire in Scotland the following year.[1][better source needed] In 1983 between Corsica and the French mainland, French zoologist Jacques Maigret sighted a similar looking creature.[citation needed]



Although it has not been proven to exist, it was given a "classification" by Giglioli. However, scientists would most likely classify the whale under Balaenopteridae, large baleen whales.

Possible explanations[edit]

The whale may have been a genetic mutation, similar to humans born with polydactyly.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eberhart, George M. (2002) Mysterious Creatures: N-Z. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1576072835 p. 307