Monday, November 7, 2011

Jona and the Whale

No. That's not a typo. I'm not sure what the female version of the name 'Jonah' is so dropping the 'h' will have to do. Most of you are familiar with the bible story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale.

"Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah..."
Jonah 1:17 King James Bible

Well, last week off Santa Cruz, California, a bikini clad woman on a surfboard and several kayakers came close to acting out the bible story, when two feeding Humpback Whales shot up out of the water, mouths agape, mere yards away from them. (If you haven't seen it on YouTube, go and view it). Setting aside the fact that the woman and her fellow gawkers were violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act, had the whales been any closer the consequences could have been deadly. Unlike Jonah who apparently survived his ordeal, had the woman been knocked off her surfboard and swallowed it is unlikely she would have survived.

Humpback Whales do not eat humans (no whales or dolphins do), but with an enormous mouth that can hold 500 gallons of water and 400 fingernail-like baleen plates hanging from the upper jaw that strain thousands of pounds of krill with each gulp, she would have met a terrifying death. Hopefully, she and her boating companions have learned a lesson and will stay away from whales in the future. Arguably the worst part of this story is that the whale would probably have died too, with the body of a stupid human being stuck in his throat.

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