VIDEO: Open wide

Author:
Publish date:

A hungry humpback whale nearly swallowed a paddleboarder off the coast of California.

Even though humpbacks exclusively eat krill, they still have the sheer mass to injure or kill a human in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A slow-motion view of the paddleboarder’s encounter with the whale begins about one minute into the video.

“After sailing for a while, we were coming back to Santa Cruz harbor and found a large aggregation of marine life feeding on fish. Sea birds, sea lions, harbor seals, dolphins and a humpback whale were the predators,” writes Eric Garcia, who videotaped the surprise encounter.

“After observing the whale surfacing to breathe several times, we decided to head out. Little did we know that we would see the whale one more time, except this time it came out with its mouth opened and barely missing a paddleboarder who was coming out of the harbor. We could not believe it! He escaped danger twice by centimeters. ... Fortunately, he is OK and we got the action on video!”