A group of divers filming a sperm whale recently found themselves on the receiving end of a rarely seen defense mechanism, as the cetacean weaponized its own bowel movement to dissuade them from the area.
Canadian photographer Keri Wilk, 30, spotted the whale off the island of Dominica, working with three other free divers as part of a government project, according to the Daily Mail. When the quartet approached the sperm whale and began to take pictures, the dive took an unexpected turn as the cetacean began to defecate in front of the group.
What began as a simple bowel movement quickly turned into something different, however, as the whale engaged in what is believed be a defensive action. Rather than diving as it performed its bodily function, the sperm whale remained at the surface, surrounding the divers with fecal matter.
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“Four of us got into the water near the whale, then it slowly approached us, stopped, and pointed itself straight down before storm began,” Wilk observed. “At first, it seemed like a regular bowel movement but rather than continuing its dive down, it remained at the surface and continued to defecate for a startling length of time.”
Wilk found himself caught in the maelstrom, unfortunately diving with just a face mask and snorkel, according to the Mirror.
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“Four of us looked at each other with confusion, then back at the whale, expecting that any second its call from nature would come to an end,” he recalled. “Instead, the whale bobbed up and down, spun in circles and waved the poo in every direction for several minutes while we just sat back and watched.”
The divers were quickly covered in whale excrement, unable to see more than a few feet in front of their masks. After quickly leaving the cloud, they noted that the whale’s fecal matter washed off, failing to leave behind an odor. Nonetheless, Wilk said that he indulged in an extra-long shower after returning to shore.
Though sperm whales have been filmed sleeping and giving birth underwater, as the Inquisitr previously reported, Wilk pointed out that he has no knowledge of this situation happening before. He asserted that the the images may represent the first time that the sperm whale’s unique defense mechanism has been photographically documented.
[Image: Keri Wilk via the Daily Mail]