A school teacher from a small seaside town of Hancock, Maine has discovered that a humpback whale had traveled 6,000 miles, the longest documented distance of the mammal, by comparing photos from a research catalogue with a picture posted on Flickr.

Dale McCollough, who has a passion of studying whale photos, tracked photographs taken of a humpback whale by a tourist in Madagascar in 2001, followed by another photo taken by researchers in Brazil. The photos matched and McCollough could identify the whale that travelled 6,000 miles between the two countries.

McCollough has built expertise in identifying humpback whales based on their shape, color and markings. The Allied Whale research group at the college of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor has a huge catalogue of whale photos.