We are all familiar with the story of Jonah and the Whale (or Jonah and the Huge Fish, if you’re the technical type.) That story, the tale of Pinocchio and an episode of the animated Tick cartoon notwithstanding, it’s fairly well established that whales do not consume human beings whole. If God Himself doesn’t command it, it’s not happening.
Then some wiseacre whale has to go and mess things up for everybody.
Rainer Schimpf, an oceanic tour guide from South Africa, was the man who spent time in the whale’s mouth. Thankfully for Rainer, his immediate reaction was to hold his breath, which allowed him to survive for the short time required before the whale spit him out.
According to LiveScience, it was a Bryde’s Whale, a species which tends to grow to about 44 feet long and lives in the waters off of South Africa.
Whales, despite their immensity, do not have a throat structure large enough to swallow a person. They are extremely strong, however, and with its jaw clamped on Rainer he was not getting free until it decided to release him… which it did, a few seconds after grabbing him. The human was not, after all, the tasty sardines it had been expecting to swallow.
Question of the Night – What’s your favorite afternoon snack?