A lobster diver was swallowed whole by a humpback whale and spent 30 seconds inside it before being spat out – in a biblical tale come true.
On Friday, June 11, veteran lobster diver Michael Packard, 56, was plucking lobsters from the ocean floor in Provincetown, Massachusetts, when he felt a "huge shove and everything went black".
Mr Packard soon realised the hunter had become the hunted, and assumed he was inside a great white shark.
However, as he felt around he couldn't feel teeth so it dawned on him he was inside a whale.
He said he could sense he was moving, and could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in its mouth.
Mr Packard told WBZ-TV: "I realised, oh my God, I'm in a whale's mouth… and he's trying to swallow me.
"And I thought to myself OK, this is it – I'm finally – I'm gonna die."
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Kitted up in scuba gear in the pitch black of the whale's mouth, he began to struggle, causing the whale to shake its head.
After about 30 to 40 seconds the whale surfaced from the water and Mr Packard saw light.
He said: "I just got thrown in the air and landed in the water. I was free and I just floated there. I couldn't believe… I'm here to tell it."
Mr Packard's crewmate, Josiah Mayo, watched in shock from their boat as a whale erupted from the surface and spat him out.
He dragged his friend out of the water and onto their boat "The J n' J", before calling the authorities.
The Provincetown rescue squad came to help and he was rushed to hospital.
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He was treated for soft tissue damage to his leg but suffered no broken bones and remarkably Mr Packard said he feels just fine.
Experts have said whales are generally not interested in humans but they do open their mouths very far when they gulp feed.
It is thought this incident may have been caused by a young whale trying to catch some fish.
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