A rare white whale washed ashore on a beach in Australia on Saturday. The carcass of the whale was found at a beach in Mallacoota in an are only accessible by water.

A local resident who happened to see the whale in person, said that it looked like a white sculpture. "I could see it from a distance, but it was a very odd colour, just looked like a lump of white and the closer I got, I could see the striations of its belly so it was obviously a whale," said Peter Coles. "It was pretty spectacular, it looked like this beautiful sort of sculpture out of white marble," he added.

Initially, there were concerns that the whale was the well-known albino humpback Migaloo, but the state's environment department has now clarified that it was not Migaloo.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DEWLP) examined the images and videos of the dead whale and found that it was a sub-adult female, while Migaloo was a male, per a report in The Guardian.

Migaloo has not been spotted off the coast of Australia for the last two years. It is the only known all-white humpback whale in the world. The experts believe that the dead whale that washed up on the beach could have been a whale that lost its colour after dying and not a white whale.

"It seems to be most likely a white whale, or at least a whale that has been a darker pigmentation that has passed out at sea and washed ashore and been weathered over time," Macquarie University wildlife scientist Vanessa Pirotta told ABC News.

"The mystery continues...because now the question is, well, where is Migaloo, who is this? What has happened to this whale?" she added.

Meanwhile, the authorities have warned people against touching or interfering with the carcass. Victoria's environment department has said that anyone who tries to take an unauthorised sample, or souvenirs such as teeth from the dead whale stands to face significant penalties.

White whale Migaloo
Migaloo was seen by Whale Watching Sydney cruise director and photographer Jonas Liebschner near the coast of Cronulla. Whale Watching Sydney