Two rare, endangered blue whales were spotted by researchers in New England waters, about 130 miles southeast of Cape Cod earlier this month.
Researchers Orla O'Brien and Amy Warren from the New England Aquarium surveyed the vast Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument to document the region's biodiversity and count the number of animals living and feeding in the area.
According to the aquarium, the two researchers spotted the first of the two blue whales after seeing a group of 50 bottlenose dolphins.
The first blue whale was spotted over the monument's Oceanographer Canyon, the deepest of the national park.
The aquarium defined the discovery as "important" because while blue whales are known to frequent these particular areas, the Northwest Atlantic only counts around 250 animals.
O'Brien and Warren also counted 322 whales and dolphins, as well as pilot, fin, sei, humpback, sperm and Sowerby's beaked whales in what has been the first aerial survey to be conducted in winter months.