'Extinct' Whale Surfaces Again Lost gray whale spotted off Spanish coast By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Jun 9, 2010 2:54 AM CDT 13 comments Comments The sighting off Israel last month was the first time a gray whale had been seen in the Atlantic for centuries. (YouTube) (Newser) – Gray whales became extinct in the Atlantic centuries ago, so experts believe the one that was spotted off Spain's Mediterranean coast recently is either incredible evidence of a recolonization, or incredibly lost. The whale is likely the same one seen off the coast of Israel last month, but experts have no idea where it's headed, the BBC reports. The most likely scenario is that the whale took a wrong turn during summer feeding season north of Alaska and headed south through the Northwest Passage. Its Pacific brethren will be swimming back to the Arctic around now, Discovery notes, so the whale may now be following its instinct to head north, but hasn't yet found a way around the Iberian peninsula.