Scientists believe they have discovered a new species of whale in Mexico.
The team was taking underwater video and audio samples of three beaked whales near Baja California. They work with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society near the San Benito Islands, about 300 miles from the U.S. border.
They originally were looking for what animal was making an unidentified sound recorded in 2018 in the area.
Experts in the field of beaked whales now say the scientists’ observations don’t match anything seen before, and they are “highly confident” the video shows an entirely new species, according to a press release.
“We saw something new. Something that was not expected in this area, something that doesn’t match, either visually or acoustically, anything that is known to exist,” said Dr. Jay Barlow in a statement from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. “It just sends chills up and down my spine when I think that we might have accomplished what most people would say was truly impossible – finding a large mammal that exists on this earth that is totally unknown to science.”
Scientists are now using genetic sampling to confirm what the scientists found is really a new kind of beaked whale.
The discovery of a new species of beaked whale proves how much mystery there is left to discover in the oceans that our captains, crews, and research partners fight to defend,” said Peter Hammarstedt, Director of Campaigns for Sea Shepherd.