A Christmas miracle? Photographer spots rare white reindeer

A Norwegian photographer captured a rare sight on Monday: a white reindeer calf seen while he was hiking with friends.

The shutterbug, Mads Nordsveen, 24, told the BBC he spotted the extraordinary critter while on a walk with friends in the mountains of northern Norway.

"He came to me very close and we looked into each other's eyes. He was very calm when he saw that I did not have bad intentions," the photographer told the news agency.

"He behaved as if he was posing for my photos. ... He was very curious and funny, like a little explorer.”

Nordsveen described the animal on Instagram as being so white it “almost disappeared into the snow!”

White reindeer are extremely rare – a white stag was reported in Mala, Sweden, in 2016, the New York Daily News reported.

The whiteness is the manifestation of a genetic condition that draws the pigment from the fur. Despite this, white reindeer are not considered albino.

Some Scandinavian traditions regard the sighting of a white reindeer a certain sign of good luck.