Jonah's Parable Come True: Diver Gulped Down by Humpback Whale Survives

The diver recalls he could feel the whale squeezing the muscles in its mouth.
Loukia Papadopoulos
1, 2

We have all heard the tale of Jonah who was swallowed by a fish only to be puked out three days later. Now, it seems the myth has become reality with a lobster diver being swallowed whole only to be spit out with only some bruises.

Michael Packard, 56, is a licensed commercial lobster diver. This means he dives into the bottom of the sea to pick up lobsters.

On Friday morning he was busy working off of Herring Cove Beach when all of a sudden he was swallowed whole by a humpback whale.

“All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew it was completely black,” Packard told the Cape Cod Times. “I could sense I was moving, and I could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in his mouth.”

“I was completely inside; it was completely black,” Packard added. “I thought to myself, ‘there’s no way I’m getting out of here. I’m done, I’m dead.’ All I could think of was my boys — they’re 12 and 15 years old.”

He began to struggle in order to prompt the whale to release him. The whale started shaking its head and 30 to 40 seconds later surfaced and released the lobster diver. It was later reported that Packard only suffered some bruising.

If this tale seems unbelievable, it is because it is. Instances of whales swallowing humans are so rare that they are considered to be non-existent.

Most Popular

Back in September of 2019, Rainer Schimpf, 51, was photographing a mass of sardines off South Africa's coast when he was also swallowed whole by a whale only to be spit out seconds later.

This is because whales are not usually aggressive towards humans and humans are not considered part of their diet. "Whales do not eat people; they primarily eat small aquatic lifeforms such as fish, squid, and krill, and a few dolphin species are even known to eat marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, walruses, and whales. Still, they are not known for consuming or eating people. Despite the many stories in mythology and history, there aren’t any cases of whales consuming humans or their body parts," states Whale Facts.

message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron