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Diver swallowed and spat out by a Humpback whale in Massachusetts

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Diver swallowed and spat out by a Humpback whale in Massachusetts


What happened: Michael Packard was diving off the coast of Provincetown, Massachusetts when he had a fluke encounter with a humpback whale. He went down 45 feet of water and felt a huge bump, he sensed around in the dark to see where he had ended up. He quickly realised he was in a whale’s mouth, as it was trying to swallow him. However, in 30 seconds as Packard estimated the whale rose to the surface and spit him out. He got thrown up in the air and landed in the water, free.

The response: Packard was pulled out of the water by a crewmate and then rushed ashore to the nearest hospital. He suffered minor bruises. A biologist at the Provincetown’s Centre for Coastal Studies said that this behaviour wasn’t normal for a whale and the accident was unusual. She concluded that it was presumably the result of ‘lunge feeding’ (during which a whale moving at a higher speed gathers large amounts of food without seeing everything). She added that Packard was unlikely to be swallowed because their throats are not large enough to fit a person. However, if it wasn’t for Packard’s diving experience, the atmospheric pressure from being spit out could have affected Packard severely,

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