Watch whales almost eat two divers

The close call took place off the central California coast

By Alex Halperin
Published July 23, 2013 4:05PM (EDT)

Two scuba divers narrowly avoided being eaten by feeding humpback whales during a dive charter off the Central California coast. Humpback whales can weigh up to 40 tons and feed on small morsels like krill and sardines, but that doesn't mean you want to get in their way.

According to Science Recorder:

One of two divers in the footage, Shawn Stamback, said that he and dive partner Francis Antigua were in the water with snorkeling gear and cameras passing the time before they could go down for their next scuba dive. At that time, the humpback whales could be seen feeding about a quarter-mile away from the pair.

According to Stamback, he and Antigua were floating around in the water, trying to get some shots of the whales from a distance, when suddenly all the sardines started swimming frantically.

Jay Hebrard and Jeremy Bonnett aboard the charter boat were able to capture the incredible encounter on video. About half-way in to the short, one minute video, you catch of glimpse of the frenzied sardines just before the whales lunge upward in full gulp-mode.


Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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Animal Kingdom Animals California Diving Scuba Video Whales