A mysterious, huge right whale with a distinct white knob on her head haunts the Lowcountry coast every few winters. That habit and the knob have given her a name, 'Palmetto.'
It's right whale season again, the time of year when the rarest of the ocean's biggest creatures move south from their feeding grounds to calve along the Southeast from South Carolina to Florida. Pairs of whales already have been spotted off Murrells Inlet and Savannah, Ga.
The New England Aquarium recently named the whale Palmetto at the urging of the students at Alice Drive Elementary School in Sumter. Last year, the students set off a minor controversy in the General Assembly when they wanted the whale named as the 'state marine animal.' A compromise was reached when the whale was designated the state migratory marine mammal and the bottlenose dolphin was given the 'state marine mammal' designation.