It's hard to stress just how large whales are, but the phrase "scary large" gets close. Yet, we're told our whole lives, oh, they're gentle giants, they're actually pretty chill, just think about that movie Free Willy. With that kind of size difference, though, intention doesn't matter.
For instance, a South African photographer was recently almost swallowed by a whale. His name is Rainer Schimpf -- though news outlets are calling him a "real life Jonah" -- and he was shooting a sardine run off the coast of Port Elizabeth. He'd been in the water for just a few minutes when the whale showed up.
“The next moment it got dark, and I felt pressure on my hip. And once I felt pressure, instantly I knew a whale had grabbed me,” Schimpf told Barcroft TV.
This was a Bryde’s Whale, a species that can grow to 55 feet long and weigh up to 30 tons. While they don't eat humans, he was concerned that the whale would drag him deeper into the ocean.
“Nothing can actually prepare you for the event when you end up inside the whale -- it’s pure instinct," he said. "I held my breath because I thought he is going to dive down and release me much deeper in the ocean, it was pitch black inside."
But luckily, that didn't happen, and the whole incident lasted just a few seconds. But it's not like his foot was caught. His entire head and most of his torso was inside the whale.
“It gives me a connection to the whale which I don’t think anyone else has had," Schimpf added, in quite an understatement.
h/t WGN9, Barcroft TV