Real-life Jonahs! Did humpback whale really 'swallow' two women and spit them out? Here's the truth
Update: The viral video of a humpback whale 'swallowing' two women whole has led to a lot of debate about the behavior of whales. However, this video, while real, is misleading because of its captioning, claims fact-checking website Snopes.com. The website states that this video was shot in Avila Beach, California, on Nov 2, 2020 and while in the video it seemed the two women were swallowed by the whale, the reality was that they simply fell behind the whale and into the water and not into his mouth as reports have claimed.
Just like the prophet Jonah, who survived after being swallowed by a whale, two women got a big scare on a California beach when a humpback whale nearly swallowed them, at least in appearance, while they were enjoying the sea.
The two women were quietly pedaling in a kayak when the cetacean approached and opened its mouth and swallowed them in a video that went viral on social media. The video shows the moment when the whale grabs them in its mouth, but after a few moments, which they certainly felt were unending, it abandons them in the middle of the ocean. The people who witnessed the incident alerted rescue personnel, and both women were treated immediately.
The video has been widely shared on social media. The caption is translated on Twitter, "A humpback whale swallows two women in California. The girls were kayaking when they were caught in one bite by the whale, who was behind a school of fish, the huge cetacean does NOT eat humans and in a few seconds spit them out alive LUCK."
Una ballena jorobada se traga dos mujeres en California,Las chicas se encontraban navegando en Kayac cuando fueron atrapadas de un solo bocado por la ballena,quien se encontraba tras un banco de peces,el inmenso cetáceo NO come humanos y en unos segundos las escupió vivas SUERTE. pic.twitter.com/1TlR0pSZvs— hildegar mujica (@hilmuj) July 28, 2022
National Geographic claims that even though reports of individuals being swallowed by whales are relatively rare, swallowing a human is physically impossible for all but one species. The throat size of a humpback is designed for little fish, so the animal cannot and will not consume humans, World Nation News reported.
Humpback whales have a throat the size of a human fist and which can expand up to a maximum of 38 cm long while they eat. As a result, the two women were not ingested since the animal detected the situation and spit them out.
The real-life Jonahs
The terrifying incident is reminiscent of a story about 'Jonah and the Whale'. According to the Bible, God sent the prophet Jonah to preach in Nineveh, but Jonah found God's command intolerable. Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, was known for its wickedness. Jonah, being a stubborn individual, did exactly the opposite of what he was advised. He went down to Joppa's seaport and booked passage on a ship bound for Tarshish, away from Nineveh. According to the Bible, Jonah "ran away from the Lord." In response, God created a terrible storm that threatened to destroy the ship.
The worried crew cast lots and determined that Jonah was to blame for the storm. Jonah instructed them to toss him overboard. They first tried rowing to shore, but the seas became considerably bigger. Fearful of God, the sailors eventually threw Jonah into the sea, and the water soon calmed. Instead of drowning, Jonah was swallowed by a large fish. Jonah repented and prayed to God in the belly of the whale. He praised God, concluding with the eerily prophetic statement, "Salvation comes from the Lord." The main concept of Jonah and the Whale is that God's love, grace, and compassion extend to everyone. Jonah's story signifies forgiveness and second chances.