Scientists have captured video of what they are saying is a white adult orca, or killer whale.

The sighting took place while the researchers were on an expedition in waters off the eastern coast of Russia

The whale, which spotters have named Iceberg, was seen by a group of scientists on a research cruise co-led by Erich Hoyt of the Far East Russia Orca Project

According to the researchers, the marine mammal, whom is said to be around 16 years of age, was swimming with a family of 12, including its mother and siblings.

While white whales are not unheard of in the marine mammal community, pictures of white orcas are said to have been recorded by marine conservationists before.

We've seen three white orcas in the past few years, but this is the very first time we've seen a mature animal that is all white, Hoyt told the Guardian.

As the cause of his unusual pigmentation is not fully known right now, the scientists would like to establish whether Iceberg is albino -- a genetic condition that leaves animals unable to produce melanin, a dark pigment of skin, hair and the eye's retina and iris.

In 1970, a two-year-old white orca named Chimo, was captured in Canada for a dolphinarium, and was diagnosed with a type of albinism after its death two years later.

Many albino animals never grow into adulthood. Their visibility is a disadvantage in the hunt for food and protection against predators.

We want to find out a lot more about Iceberg, said Mr Hoyt. We would like to find out how he is able to survive as a white whale.

According to the BBC, It's possible that an attempt may be made to take a biopsy from Iceberg.

But as researchers are reluctant to do so, they will first need a more compelling reason. Otherwise, closer observations, including a detection of eye color, will have to suffice.

The most famous white whale, though, is the fictional sperm whale that drove Captain Ahab to his eventually fatal fury in Moby Dick.

White Killer Whale Spotted