Belfast man ‘hits jackpot’ with first blue whale sighting in 100 years

Video footage: Sean Keenan (@seansperception)

A Belfast man who moved to Australia six years ago has managed to capture what could be the first confirmed sighting of a blue whale off the east coast in 100 years.

Sean Keenan was stunned to have caught the majestic animal – the largest on the planet – on camera while out whale-watching a few weeks ago.

“I’m usually out watching the humpbacks go by Sydney on their annual migration,” he told UTV.

“But by chance, this blue whale appeared in front of me.

“I feel like the luckiest person in the world, to be honest – I’ve really hit the jackpot.”

They reckon it could be the first confirmed sighting off Australia’s east coast in 100 years.

Sean Keenan

Blue whales live for up to 80 or 90 years in the wild, can grow to over 100ft and weigh up to 200 tons.

In fact, their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant and their hearts as much as a car.

They live almost exclusively on tiny shrimp-like creatures called krill.

Blue whales are endangered, but their numbers are actually increasing at the moment.

While there have been two unofficial reports of blue whales being spotted off the Australian east coast – one in 2002 and one in 2013 – the sighting this August appears to be the first in 100 years to be verified.

The extremely rare nature of such sightings only make Sean’s encounter – which has been shared on his Instagram and has made headlines around the world – all the more special.