Everyone always says beware of the sharks, but in this case, beware of the humpback whales. Last weekend, a couple of divers were snorkeling at Souza Rock, off the coast of Morro Bay in California when two, 40-ton humpback whales almost swallowed them whole.
Francis Antigua and Shawn Stamback of San Luis Obispo were looking to get some incredible underwater footage off the central California coast – and that’s just what they got. As reported by the Daily Mail, the divers “were floating around in the water hoping to get some shots of the whales in the distance [when] all of a sudden the sardines started going crazy.” Next, the whales lunged out from under the water with their mouths wide open just feet from the divers.
According to ABC News, Stamback said he didn’t know how the whales got so close without them realizing – the aquatic mammals were last seen about half a mile away before the incident. Humpback whales are known for their unique feeding type called lung-feeding: “a technique in which they burst forward and swallow everything in an area, then filter out the water and keep the good stuff,” Canada.com says. Thankfully, the good stuff did not include the divers.
Antigua and Stamback quickly swam back to their boat, where their friends Jay Hebrard and Jeremy Bonnett had captured the stomach-dropping moment on video. Stamback mentioned that he “had a feeling the whales knew where we were in the water so missed us intentionally.” Intentional or not – that was a close one.