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Giglioli's Whale

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Title: Giglioli's Whale  
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Subject: List of cryptids, List of legendary creatures by type, Old Yellow Top, Malawi terror beast, Grassman
Collection: Legendary Mammals, Scottish Cryptids, Sea Cryptids
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Giglioli's Whale

Giglioli's Whale
(Amphiptera pacifica)
As drawn by Giglioli himself
Grouping Cryptid
Sub grouping Whale
First reported 1867 (legend)
Country Chile, Scotland
Habitat Water

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.


  • Accounts 1
  • Existence 2
    • Classification 2.1
    • Possible explanations 2.2
    • Whaling 2.3
  • References 3


On September 4, 1867 on board a ship called the Magenta about 1200 miles 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] In 1983 between Corsica and the French mainland, French zoologist Jacques Maigret sighted a similar looking creature.



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

The whale may have been a genetic mutation, similar to humans born with polydactyly. Another cryptid with two dorsal fins is the fabled rhinoceros dolphin.


Given the species's alleged size (60 feet) and attributes (it resembles a rorqual), it is extremely doubtful such a species would not have been taken (and reported) by modern commercial whalers. If the animals exist, it is almost certainly as malformed individuals rather than a distinct species.


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