Is it possible for a human being to survive after being swallowed whole by a whale? If we are to believe a couple of reports that have been published recently, this could be possible. Several websites – including Indian newspaper The Indian Express have reported about the story of a Spanish man who claims to have survived for 72 hours inside a whale after he was swallowed whole by the mammal.
However, the story has dubious origins and is in all likelihood a hoax. Save the Indian Express, no credible news agency or newspaper has reported the incident. Even The Indian Express edited the original article and now points towards the story being a crudely perpetrated hoax.
The original article claiming the incident did happen was published by a website called the World News Daily Report which doesn’t have many things going in its favor when it comes to credibility or accuracy. The story talks about a Spanish fisherman identified as Luigi Marquez. A resident of the town of Puerto Real, Spain, Luigi was reported to have drowned at sea after he went overboard during a storm that hit the Spanish coast back in March. The story claims the Spanish Coast Guard searched for the man for several days with no luck.
However, three days after he was reportedly lost at sea, Luigi emerged alive with an unbelievable story to tell. He claimed he was swallowed whole by a whale and spent three days inside the huge animal before he was “flushed away” by the whale.
“This great beast swallowed me the morning after the storm. It is the most frightening thing I have ever lived. Everything was pitch black and I was shivering cold. The only thing that kept me alive where the raw fish I ate and the light from my waterproof watch, that is how I kept in touch with time. And the smell, I will never forget that horrible stench of putrid decomposition. I had to wash for three days before the odor went away,” Luigi is quoted saying to reporters.”
The story also quotes Luigi’s wife Penelope Miguel who is thankful that her husband survived the ordeal.
“This is truly a miracle! Saint Mary of Jesus has heard our prayers. I prayed and I prayed and I never lost faith, and the Lord has brought me back my precious Luigi”
The man says he was “flushed away” nearly 72 hours after being swallowed up by the beast.
To make the story sound somewhat credible, the website quotes a person identified as Juan Cristobal Miguel who the site claims is a Marine Biologist at the University of San Petrina – which interestingly doesn’t even exist!
“‘It is not the first time in human history that such stories arise. Only last year, two scuba divers off the coast of Portugal lived the same story after being accidentally swallowed by a blue whale. Fortunately, they were immediately expelled of the giant mammal’s body. It is surely extraordinary that this man survived in the belly of a blue whale for so long, he is obviously a very sturdy man and extremely lucky’, Cristobal says in the article.”
However, in reality, is it possible for a whale to swallow human beings? According to a report by The Smithsonian, the only documented case of a toothed whale swallowing a human comes from the early 1900’s – even that being not credible. The incident reportedly happened off the Falkland Islands when a Sperm Whale reportedly swallowed a sailor. The man was recovered alive after the whale was captured and killed.
However, scientists are certain that if a whale does manage to swallow a human, there is little chance of survival. This is because whales have a four-chambered stomach full of digestive enzymes. It is also full of methane gas which could be deadly for humans. So, is it possible for a man to survive for three days and three nights inside the stomach of a whale? The most likely answer is no.
[Image Via Pixabay]