Diver nearly swallowed by whale off South Africa coast

Image source You Tube Screenshot via Barcroft Animals

Rainer Schimpf was snorkeling in the water by South Africa's Port Elizabeth Harbour when a Bryde's whale took him into his mouth, and while it was undoubtedly terrifying, it also made him realise how insignificant humans are in this world.

The 51-year-old said once the whale grabbed him, he felt pressure around his body but soon realized he was too big for the whale to swallow him whole which was "kind of an instant relief". "I instantly knew it was a whale because there was a pressure on my hip which increased slightly to a point where it stopped, " he said. The video of the incident, which went viral - being viewed over 185,000 times and shared more than 63,020 times - showed the diver's head and torso inside the whale's mouth and his legs flailing in the air. " Grim but ultimately true". They have an average length of 12 metres and feed on fish, crustaceans and octopus, not people.

Let's see how long that one manages to stay on the page before it's deleted.

"I now have inside knowledge of a whale which nobody else has", Schimpf concluded.

Schimpf, an award-winning conservationist with 20-years experience, said the ordeal lasted "matter of seconds" - rather than the three nights Jonah spent in a whale's stomach, according to the Bible story.

He reportedly said: "As Rainer moved towards the bait ball, suddenly the water churned widely up and I knew for sure that something was about to happen so I held the focus of my camera on him firmly".

Bryde's whales can weigh up to 30 tons when mature and typically eat krill and fish. It was no fault of the whale.

The largest measured Bryde's whale was 15.51m off Saldanha Bay, South Africa in 1977.

Despite their massive size, Bryde's whales are not maneaters. Barely two weeks after a man was allegedly raised from the dead in "miracle" reminiscent of Jesus and Lazarus, another man survived after being spat out by a whale in a scene reminiscent of the biblical Jonah.

Meanwhile, a pod of killer whales with distinctive round faces has fuelled speculation among scientists of a new species.

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