Lobster Diver From Cape Cod Survives After a Humpback Whale Tries to Swallow Him
Michael Packard was in the whale's mouth for about 30 seconds before getting spit back out.
It sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie, but the bizarre incident with Michael Packard and a humpback whale was actually reality. He was diving off the coast of Provincetown, Massachusetts, when the occurrence happened.
Per CNN, he said, “I got down to about 45 feet of water, and all of a sudden I just felt this huge bump, and everything went dark. And I could sense that I was moving, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, did I just get bit by a shark?'"
He added, "Then I felt around, and I realized there were no teeth, and I had felt, really, no great pain. And then I realized, 'Oh, my God, I'm in a whale's mouth. I'm in a whale's mouth, and he's trying to swallow me.'"
While this was happening, the experienced diver had a breathing apparatus on in the whale's mouth, which complicated things. "One of the things that went through my mind was just, 'Oh, my God, what if he does swallow me, and here I am, I'm breathing air, and I'm going to breathe in this whale's mouth until my air runs out?'"
Packard said another thing going through his head besides, “I’m going to die!” was his wife and kids. But after about 30 seconds, the whale spit him out.
He lastly added, "All of a sudden, he went up to the surface and just erupted and started shaking his head. I just got thrown in the air and landed in the water, and I was free, and I just floated there."
"I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe I got out of that. And I'm here to tell it."
Biologist Jooke Robbins spoke with CNN and explained that humpback whales often engage in “lunge feeding.” This is when the mammal is moving fast and is quickly trying to gather large amounts of food. When this happens, they don’t always see everything they are taking in.
Also, whale's throats are not large enough to swallow a human.
As another Marine Biologist, Charles Mayo, puts it, “It's a little like sitting down to a really nice meal, and into your mouth flies a fly.”
After the incident, a crewmate helped Michael Packard out of the water, and he was rushed to a hospital. And in the end, the only injuries he had were bruises.
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