Being swallowed by a whale sounds like the sort of fear you leave behind in childhood, like quicksand or swinging on your chair. However, for one man, this became a horrifying reality.
Rainer Schimpf from South Africa had been snorkelling close to Port Elizabeth harbour when the unthinkable happened.
The 51-year-old dive tour operator was mistakenly swallowed head first by a Bryde’s whale during a feeding frenzy.
The terrifying moment Rainer disappeared into the whale’s mighty jaws was captured on camera, and has since been widely shared on social media.
Fortunately the whale got wise to his accidental human snack and spat Rainer back out.
He said “I felt enormous pressure around my waist which is when I guess the whale realized his mistake.As the the whale turned sideways, he opened his mouth slightly to release me and I was washed out, together with what felt like tons of water, of his mouth, while the whale himself was swallowing all the fish in his throat.”
Rainer ‘only’ spent around 1.8 seconds in the whale’s mouth, although I imagine the ordeal felt nightmarishly long.
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