A humpback whale is one of the largest ocean creatures right now on Earth. A fully grown specimen can reach up to 50 feet and weigh as much as 40 tons. Imagine getting swallowed by a whale the size of a regular three-story building. Well someone doesn’t have to imagine because he got swallowed by a humpback whale and lived to tell the story as well.
Michael Packard, a 56-year-old lobster diver, was swallowed by a humpback whale on a run of the mill Friday morning. Being a licensed lobster diver, Michael had to dive into the bottom of the sea to pick up the crustaceans. Packard spoke with Cape Cod Times. He told the reporters that it happened before he could even understand what was happening.
He said that “All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew it was completely black. I could sense I was moving, and I could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in his mouth”. He initially thought he was swallowed by a great white shark, but the problem was that he was still alive, no cuts and he didn’t even feel any teeth digging into his skin.
It didn’t take long for him to realize that he was swallowed by a whale. He said that “I was completely inside; it was completely black. I thought to myself, ‘there’s no way I’m getting out of here. I’m done, I’m dead.’ All I could think of was my boys — they’re 12 and 15 years old”. No one would’ve believed him if crewman Josiah Mayo wasn’t there to witness the event.
Packard was outfitted with scuba gear and he started struggling inside the whale’s mouth. The whale began shaking its head so that Packard could tell he didn’t like it. He estimated he was in the whale for 30 to 40 seconds before the whale finally surfaced. Mayo saw the whale burst to the surface and fling Packard out of its mouth and back into the sea.
Packard’s sister, Cynthia, said that “Thank God, it wasn’t a white shark. He sees them all the time out there. He must have thought he was done”.
Thankfully Packard wasn’t hurt that much. He was released from Cape Cod Hospital Friday afternoon with what he described as “a lot of soft tissue damage” but no broken bones. He said he’d return to diving as soon as he was up and running again.