The Glow Whale is huge and whale-like in form, with the body ending in a fluked tail. Its eyes have yellow irises and large black pupils. Each eye has a pill-shaped photophore directly in front of it. Atop the head a pair of translucent blue "horns" can be seen.
The body displays countershading, with the dorsal side being grayish blue and the ventral side light blue. Well defined ridges are visible on the dorsal side. These run along the sides of its body from the head to the lower back, which is covered in white spots.
On either side of the Glow Whale, two huge, sail-like flippers extend diagonally upwards. The flippers have a dark blue top side and a slightly reflective underside, brown in colour with small glowing orange spots. At the tip of each flipper a small pod is attached by a long tendril. On the underside of the pod is a teardrop-shaped photophore. On the ventral side of the body, directly below each of the flippers is a far smaller fin. Barnacles and vegetation seem to thrive on various parts of the creature's body.
Glow Whales move very slowly in large, open ocean with other Glow Whales. They can be seen doing deep dives with other whales, as well as periodically breaching the surface. They are often seen performing large gulps to consume Shoals of Fish.
The player can interact with Glow Whales by riding on its back or petting it near the eye. Petting the Glow Whale's eye will cause the area of contact to glow for a short period of time.
Data Bank Entry
Glow Whales are communal leviathans approximately 30m long, often found swimming in the open ocean and occasionally breaching the surface.
Photophores: Glow Whales contain several types of bioluminescence. Perhaps the most noteworthy are their photophores, which are incandescent glandular organs found at the corners of their eyes and the pods at the tip of their sail-like pectoral fins.
Glow horns: The Glow Whales’ blue horns behave similarly to tuning forks. The horns receive waves of sound in the water and help Glow Whales identify members of their pod from a distance. This ability is also used in hunting shoals to determine positioning of potential food sources.
When pods of whales are at play, they emit a harmonious series of notes that resonate in their horns and release a series of chemicals that appears to create a joyful response in nearby whales. This note’s frequency is too high to be heard by human ears.
Assessment: Passive, harbors barnacles and algae.
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The Glow Whale appears to have convergently evolved with the baleen whales of Earth, sharing a very similar morphology and feeding behaviour. Though it lacks baleen plates entirely, it shares the longitudinal ridges possessed by rorquals along the ventral side of the body. Which allow for the body to expand when feeding. The spotted and ridged back of the Glow Whale is extremely similar in appearance to the backs of whale sharks, the largest fish on Earth.
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- It was designed by Pat Presley during pre-production for Subnautica but never got past the concept phase. It has since been repurposed for Below Zero.