PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA — A South African diver almost became the modern-day Jonas after being swallowed by a 15-meter-whale, reports Sky News.
Dive tour operator Rainer Schimpf was filming a sardine run off the coast of South Africa's Port Elizabeth Harbor. His goal was to shoot some sharks hunting fish. Little did he know he'd be the one turning into chow.
Schimpf told Sky News that as he was concentrated on looking for the sharks when the water around him suddenly turned black. Out of the blue—literally—he felt a weird pressure on his hips. That's when he realized he was inside the mouth of a Bryde's whale.
Bryde's whales are huge, they can weigh up to 20 tons and just one flick of this beast's flipper could easily crack some ribs. Knowing this, Schimpf decided to just wait the big fella out and see if it would eventually let him go.
Lucky for Schimpf, he didn't taste like krill. He resurfaced after the whale spat him out feeling a bit dazed and confused. His first reaction? Asking the team photographer if he got the shot."
It's important to note that whales are not blood-thirsty human-eating machines. In fact, the whale Schimpf encountered was probably as confused as he was when it munched down on him.
Whales are normally quite peaceful, eating shrimp, crabs, anchovies, mackerel, sardines, and other small fish and crustaceans. Okay—maybe these little guys don't think whales are so peaceful, but you get the idea.
That being said, it might have been Schimp's quick reflexes that saved him. Schimpf told Sky News, 'there was not really time for fear at that moment, just pure instinct.'