A White Whale is a hostile Animal that has a chance to spawn after the player has tracked it down by examining Suspicious Bubbles, during Hurricane Season or Dry Season. This chance starts at 5% on day 1, and increase as days go by, to a maximum of 33% on day 100. In Mild Season and Monsoon Season, the White Whale will not be encountered regardless of the day counter. They are considered innocent creatures despite being hostile, and killing one adds 6 points to the player's naughtiness level, which can cause Krampus to appear.
Once spawned, a White Whale will attack, at which point it will chase the player until the player gets far enough away or kills it.
A White Whale can't be set on fire.
It drops a White Whale Carcass when killed, which will take 3–5 days to fully bloat (only if the player is nearby). When bloated it can be popped with a Machete and it will explode, dropping 4 Raw Fish, 4 Blubber, 1 Harpoon and 9 other random items.
The White Whale will attack the player if the player gets too close. A player can safely kite one with an attack pattern of 5-6 swings, depending on movement speed. If more than one White Whale are close together they will attack each other.
By investigating some Suspicious Bubbles, the player can find a White Whale. These can be found randomly in the deep ocean biome and will change locations if ignored for a period of time. Once investigating Suspicious Bubbles three will pop in the same direction, if followed it will lead to another Suspicious Bubbles or the White Whale approximately two screens away. Upon uncovering the final bubble (there can be between 6 and 12 per hunt), the character will alert the player that the creature is close and a White whale will be spawned rather than another bubble. Note there is a 2/3 chance that a Blue Whale will spawn instead.
Once killed, the White Whale will drop a White Whale Carcass. The carcass will go through 3 stages: Bloated stage 1 (recently killed, withered, and rotting), bloated stage 2 (larger, emits more smell), and bloating stage 3 (severely deformed, shaking softly). During stages 2 and 3, the White Whale Carcass will create a squeaking sound that can be heard from about 8 boat lengths away.
Below is the number of hits it takes with each weapon to kill a White Whale when playing with characters with a default damage modifier. The Weather Pain is not included due to the random nature of its projectile.
Possible Random Items
High quality items (low drop chance, rolls up to 2 items):
Medium quality items (medium drop chance, rolls up to 3 items):
Low quality items (high drop chance, rolls up to 4 items):
- The White Whale is a direct reference to Moby-Dick (written by Herman Melville), an 1851 novel about a hostile albino sperm whale. This is further supported by the Harpoon embedded in the whale's head.
- Although Moby Dick is a sperm whale, the White Whale does not seem to be one, due to the shape of its chin. Its chin is most likely that of a humpback or a blue whale.
- The White Whale is the Shipwrecked equivalent of the Varg from Reign of Giants.
- The Harpoon in the whale's head may have been shot in there by Maxwell, as indicated by his quote "We meet again".