Whale tries to 'swallow' man shown in dramatic pictures

039;I instantly knew a whale had grabbed me,’ man spit up by one says

51-year-old South African diver Rainer Schimpf miraculously survived after the whale captured him in its mouth, along with sardines.

However, Schmipf seems in high spirits about the incident.

Schimpf, remembering the moment, said that the "it got dark, and I felt some pressure on my hip and I instantly knew that a whale had grabbed me".

"(Then) the whale realised its mistake and opened its mouth releasing me.

A real-life Moby Dick situation!

Bryde's whales can dive for up to 20 minutes on one breath and are capable of reaching depths of up to 300m.

We use our own and third parties cookies to offer you a better experience and service. "I was trying to get a shot of a shark going through the bait ball", he says.

More news: Antonio Brown-to-Bills trade is officially dead, Buffalo GM says

In the Bible story Jonah goes against God's will and is swallowed whole by a whale in a storm - but is returned to the land unscathed when he repents his sins.

Incredible photos of the moment Rainer Schimpf, 51, found himself scooped up by the Bryde's whale off Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in February emerged this week.

Watching helpless from a boat was Silke, his wife, and Heinz Toperczer, a wildlife photographer who kept his lens trained on the spectacle.

They typically grow to more than 15m in length and feed on a variety of fish and plankton.

Schimpf expressed his surprise and astonishment over finding the mammal out of nowhere, as whales would usually be spotted by the divers before they made an attempt to get close. They hunt krill, shrimp, crabs, herring, sardines, mackerel and anchovies among other fish, lunging towards their prey and often skimming the surface of the seas in search of food.

Schimpf said he feels "privileged" to have experienced something so rare, but he hopes it doesn't happen again. Scientists are waiting for DNA tests from a tissue sample but think it may be a distinct species, according to The Associated Press.

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