A diver in South Africa survived an experience out of a biblical passage last month when he ended up almost being swallowed by a whale.
Rainer Schimpf, 51, was snorkeling off the coast of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, when he ended up in the path of a Bryde's whale, which opened his jaws and engulfed him headfirst.
Schimpf, who has worked as a dive operator for over 15 years, said he was in the water with two others for just a matter of minutes before the whale appeared. He had happened to be with a group recording a sardine run, which is where marine animals such as dolphins, whales, and sharks gather fish into bait balls.
The 51-year-old said once the whale grabbed him, he felt pressure around his body but soon realized he was too big for the whale to swallow him whole which was "kind of an instant relief."
Unlike the biblical story of Jonah, Schimpf didn't end up in the animal's belly but was able to swim away after being released.
Bryde's whales are members of the baleen whale family, a group that includes blue whales and humpback whales, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The whales can weigh about 90,000 pounds and grow to a length of 55 feet, according to the NOAA. The whales have a diet that consists mainly of krill, red crabs, shrimp and a "variety of schooling fishes," but clearly not adult humans.