HALIFAX -- A massive blue whale has been spotted off the east coast of Nova Scotia.

The blue whale is known as the largest animal on the planet. According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans website, the largest one on record was 29.5 metres.

“Such large creatures -- even from 800 feet overhead," said DFO scientist Jack Lawson, who is based in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The population of blue whales in the Northwest Atlantic is unknown, "but is estimated that it does not exceed 250 adults," DFO says on its web page about the species.

The endangered whale was photographed Wednesday by a team of federal Fisheries observers while they were flying over the Scotian Shelf in a Twin Otter airplane. The Scotian Shelf is one of the areas in the region that the whales are known to frequent.

The team was looking for North Atlantic right whales at the time.

With files from CTV Atlantic.