An extremely rare species of whale are turning up in record numbers to make a splash in Cape Cod. There are thought to be only 500 remaining right whales on Earth, but almost half of them have been spotted off the US coast in the past few springs. This year, right whales have returned to Cape Cod, Massachusetts in large numbers – and the sight is turning into an amateur photographer’s dream.

The animals are attracted to this area of the Atlantic Ocean because it is rich in plankton for feeding. “It’s rather extraordinary and somewhat mind-blowing,” said Charles Mayo, a senior scientist and director of right whale ecology at the Centre for Coastal Studies in Provincetown. Although right whales have foraged for food for centuries in Cape Cod, their numbers were decimated by whalers who hunted them. In the late 1990s, fewer than 30 whales were spotted each year. READ MORE