A blue whale has turned up in the Red Sea, the long spit of water separating Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea from the Arabian Peninsula.
It's the first time a blue whale has ever been seen in the Red Sea, according to a statement from Egyptian Environmental Minister Khaled Fahmy, as reported today (May 31) by the news outlet Egypt Independent. (The Egyptian government is currently monitoring the marine mammal, the statement added.) Israeli newspapers also reported that the whale had passed close to the Israeli Red Sea city of Eilat.
Blue whales turn up all over the world, and aren't limited to any specific body of ocean water, according to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). However, the massive mammals tend to migrate toward cooler polar waters in the summer, and avoid shallow coastal areas all year round.
Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to exist, according to the WWF. They usually grow to between 80 and 100 feet long (24 to 30 meters), the WWF says, and are often found in groups. This whale is about 80 feet (24 meters) long, and all alone. Egyptian authorities said the whale is not dangerous, but that people should not approach it.
Originally published on Live Science.
Live Science newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest science news by signing up for our Essentials newsletter.