Yes! This is Migaloo the albino humpback whale and he is absolutely real! (I believe that in this picture he is swimming along side a smaller female humpback whale)
Albinism is a genetic mutation, where the individual (animal or human) lacks color pigmentation. It is rare to come across albino animals in the wild because it prevents them from blending into their environment making these animals more visible to potential predators and prey.
Migaloo has a very strong following, due to distinctive look he has been spotted many times over the years. He was first spotted in 1991 and is estimated to be in his early to mid 30s. If you live in Australia (or are vacationing) and spot this whale you can contact the white whale research center and report the siting to contribute to the ongoing research about these animals:
Until 2011 Migaloo was thought to be the only albino humpback whale in the world, but then an albino calf was spotted and is unofficially named Migaloo Jr.
Here is a video with some pics and footage of this extraordinary whale. Seeing him actually move through the water is breath taking. I really wan to emphasize that you should never approach a whale this close in the wild (it is illegal as well as dangerous and Migaloo is protected under Australian law). These people state in the video that they saw Migaloo and were taking photos from a safe distance (which you see in the beginning) and then he approached them. They were actually in a very dangerous situation as this whale easily could have capsized their little boat. Fortunately he just came to get a closer look and was then on his way.
Thanks once again to marine-enclosures for an awesome photo! Have a great weekend everyone!