Man almost eaten by whale found it enlightening

Man almost eaten by whale found it enlightening

Man almost eaten by whale found it enlightening

A Bryde's whale, to be specific, took Rainer Schimpf, 51, into its mouth as he was in the water off the coast of the South African town of Port Elizabeth last month, the Guardian reports.

"It happened extremely fast ..." "It was an interesting experience, it gives me a connection to the whale that I do not think anyone has had ..."

Only Schimpf's wetsuit separated his flesh from the whale's jaws.

"So once I felt something had grabbed me on the hip, I knew instantly it was a whale".

"As they come up with their mouths open, they can't see what is in front of them, and I guess the whale thought it was a dolphin", diver Claudia Weber-Gebert said.

Schimpf heads the company Dive Expert Tours, which organises diving excursions for amateurs and professionals.

"There is not time for fear in a situation like that, you'll have to use your instinct", Schimpf said.

A Bryde’s whale

As much of a surprise as the encounter was for Schimpf, he's sure it was a surprise for the whale as well.

The 51-year-old was engulfed by the whale who was up to 15m long and weighed 20 tonnes. "[That's] when I instantly knew, a whale had grabbed me".

"Whales are no man-eaters", witness Claudia Weber-Gebert told Barcroft Animals in an interview. "They are really sensitive, they are gentle giants, and it was just an accident". "They also feast on bigger crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps, as well as a variety of small schooling fish", says.

The diver is still keen to get back into the water.

Barcroft's video of the incident has gone viral with over 4 million views - the company is a major YouTube video provider.

"But my hard won experience kicked in and I instantly held my breath, thinking that the whale would instinctively dive down again before spitting me out somewhere in the depths of the Indian Ocean".

Bryde's whales can reach lengths of 16 metres.

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