It must have been a major scare. Where did it happen? Off the coast of California. A kayak was calmly cruising along the sea, when it approached a humpback whale. The whale that swallowed two women… and then threw them back into the water.
He held them in his mouth for a few seconds. Those who witnessed the event alerted the rescuers. Fortunately, the whale returned them to the sea and both were immediately treated.
Swallowing a human is physically impossible for almost all whales. In the case of humpbacks, the size of their throat is designed for small fish. It is true that it was able to injure females, but not swallow them.
There was another incident with these cetaceans a few months ago, which went viral. The occupants of a crew in Mexico were struck by a whale. There are some waters where it is more common to encounter them, such as in Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru. But it is always advisable to keep a safe distance.
Last year, for example, a diver fishing for lobsters had a similar experience. He survived after being swallowed by a humpback whale off the coast of Massachusetts, USA. It was in his mouth for 30 seconds before being spit to the surface. The throat of the humpback whale is the size of a human fist. It can only extend to 38 centimeters when they eat.
In the literature
For the whale that swallowed two females it was also a bad experience. Her intention was to feed, and having two annoying objects in her mouth must not have been to her liking. In 2020, other kayakers were trapped in the mouth of a humpback whale in California.
These stories remind us of the biblical Jonah, swallowed by a whale so he wouldn’t drown. And on the fantastic plane, Gepetto, Pinocchio’s father, ended up inside one. These fictions fed the certainty that it could really happen. But only a sperm whale could be capable of that. But that does not make them any less shocking experiences.