Members of the United States Coast Guard say a routine patrol off of the coast of Louisiana earlier this month revealed a shocking surprise. The Coast Guard Patrol was operating out of Venice Louisiana on a Living Marine Resource patrol when they encountered what appeared to be a large pile of debris floating in the water.

Gulf Of Mexico
Chris Shivock/U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images

The debris was spotted near the Mississippi Canyon about 30 miles south of SouthWest Pass. If you're not familiar, SouthWest Pass is literally where the waters of the Mississippi River flow into the Gulf of Mexico. Taking that into consideration it would not be out of the realm of possibility for a large "pile of debris" to be seen in that area but Coast Guard crews took a closer look just to be sure.

And that's when they saw this:

What you're looking at is a video shot by Coast Guard crews that were posted on social media on September 24th. The video shows three Rice's Whales. That species was mentioned in the Coast Guard post as being critically endangered. It's believed that there are fewer than 100 individuals left in the world.

Unmanned Antares Rocket Explodes At Launch On Wallops Island
Getty Images

So, to spot three of them in one sighting was quite an accomplishment for the Coast Guard crews. The creatures are found in the Gulf of Mexico and can reach over forty feet in length and grow to weigh more than 60,000 pounds.

Rice's Whales are considered to be one of the most endangered species of whale in the world. Experts with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say these baleen-type whales are very seldom seen in the wild simply because of their very few numbers. However, this sighting off SouthWest Pass a few days ago does coincide with another Rice's Whale sighting that was noted by some Texas fishermen more than two months ago.

10 Items That Usually Go on Sale During the Fall