Two sperm whales were spotted off of Palos Verdes Peninsula on Monday evening by Harbor Breeze Cruises, a rare sight off Southern California that only happens every few years.

The whale watching charger reported two sperm whales in the area about three miles off the Palos Verdes coastline about 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 12.

Sperm Whales are the largest toothed whale and can hold their breath while diving for up to two hours, according to Harbor Breeze, which has charters out of Long Beach and San Pedro.

Here's more description about the sea creature in the announcement from Harbor Breeze:

Sperm whales are the inspiration for Moby Dick, they have the largest heads, biggest brains and make the loudest sound on any animal one earth. Their diet consist mainly of squid, but also fish, octopi, rays and megamouth sharks.

When they are not breeding, adult male sperm whales live on their own. Female sperm whales and offspring, however, gather into pods of up to 20 members. The male sperm whale generally leave around 4 years old, sometimes forming a pod of its own with other young adult males. This pod will also eventually split up as the males age.

The best estimate suggests there are more than 200,000 sperm whales alive today.

According to National Geographic, the sperm whale has the largest head of any creature known to have lived on Earth.  Their heads also hold large quantities of a mysterious substance called spermaceti. Scientists have yet to understand its function, but believe it may help the animal regulate its buoyancy. The fluid—which hardens to wax when cold—helps the whale alter its buoyancy so it can dive deep and rise again.

More interesting facts from Nat Geo: Sperm whales are known to dive as deep as 3,280 feet in search of squid to eat. These giant mammals must hold their breath for up to 90 minutes on such dives. The toothed whales eat thousands of pounds of fish and squid—about one ton per day.

Contact Lisa Jacobs or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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