white whale

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to white whale: Beluga Whale

white whale:

see belugabeluga
or white whale,
small, toothed northern whale, Delphinapterus leucas. The beluga may reach a length of 19 ft (5.8 m) and a weight of 4,400 lb (2,000 kg).
..... Click the link for more information.

White Whale


(Delphinapterus leucas), also called beluga, a mammal of the dolphin family, suborder of toothed whales. The white whale’s body is up to 6 m long and weighs up to 1.5 tons. Mature beluga whales are white (hence the name). They are found in polar regions and live in the arctic seas, even where there is ice. The skin of the whale has a layer of loose epidermis up to 2 cm thick. White whales feed on fish (capelin, cod, salmon, herring, and many others). In pursuit of fish they often enter large rivers (the ob’, Enisei, Lena, Amur, and others). They sometimes go 2,000 km and more upstream in the Amur River. They live in schools (from a few dozen to thousands of head). White whales make regular seasonal migrations. The female gives birth to a single calf 140–160 cm long. The color of the white whale changes sharply with age. The newborn whales are dark blue to blue; later, the whale turns gray or light gray (blue). Only the adult whales are white. They reach sexual maturity in two to three years. An industry is based on the white whale (skin and fat).


Tomilin, A. G. Kitoobraznye: Zveri SSSR i prilezhashchikh stran, vol. 9. Moscow, 1957.
Belukha. Moscow, 1964.
References in periodicals archive ?
Implicitly, the white whale is a kind of divine retribution, a monster sent to punish the whalers for their hubris.
The ship is attacked and destroyed by a monstrously big white whale.
Moments later though, I saw what was clearly a white whale in the sea.
They deduced that those utterances came from a most surprising source: a white whale by the name of NOC.
The Umm Al Quwain judge adjourned the case until after the Eid Al Adha holiday, after the White Whale owner asked for time to answer the Ministry of Environment's questions, a judicial official told Gulf News.
The poems skirt on the edge of the breakdown of language as the metaphor takes on a variety of guises: sheep's clothing Melville's white whale an astronaut the Mississippi River.
While vibration is the White Whale of any NVH engineer, a little rattle may mean a little more energy and a little less weight in future vehicles.
Ahab seeks one specific whale, Moby-Dick, a great white whale of tremendous size and ferocity.
We did not get a direct comparison with the other male, but the white whale was clearly larger than any of the accompanying females.
Other species identified as particularly vulnerable include the beluga or white whale, river dolphins including the Ganges river dolphin and pink river dolphin, as well as the white beaked dolphins found off the coast of the UK.
Or the White Whale Southern Theater, Minneapolis, Minn.
His mission, which becomes an obsession, is to hunt down the great white whale, Moby Dick.