GRAYS HARBOR, WASH. – The largest animals on the planet paid a rare visit to Washington waters last month.

The two blue whales were seen feeding about 17 miles northwest of Grays Harbor on July 24th. Cascadia Research biologist John Calambokidas said he documented them by chance while surveying humpback and gray whales.

He wasn’t certain why the whales appear to have moved north this year in search of krill, their main food source. The animals are part of a population of 2,000 blue whales most commonly seen off the coast of California.

He said this was only the third of fourth sighting blue whales off the Washington coast in the last 30 or 40 years.