It was a foggy day near Souza Rock off the central California coast where some divers were observing whales a short distance away.
One diver films with a headcam underwater footage of a large school of fish. Another person takes video of the water above from a boat chartered by Slodivers in Morro Bay.
At one point, the view from the boat above the the diver in the water shows the school of fish swimming so aggressively they disrupt the surface of the water.
See the surface of the water being agitated by the small fish. The diver is among these fish. (Image: YouTube screenshot)
Turns out they were trying to get way from something -- two humpback whales.
Up the whales come swallowing a mouthful of fish but missing the diver. (Image: YouTube screenshot)
The whales just miss swallowing the divers in the water.
Watch the stunning footage (Content warning: some strong language):
The divers quickly take this as their clue to get out of the water. But it is unlikely that they could have become like a modern day Jonah, actually being swallowed into the whale's belly if they were taken up.
Humpbacks are not necessarily capable of swallowing a human body, feeding on small sea animals like krill, small crustaceans and fish. According to the American Cetacean Society, humpbacks eat up to 1.5 tons of food per day, drawing in a large amount of water with food in one gulp and expelling the water back out through baleen -- "overlapping plates" that are fingernail-like in terms of material -- which traps the food.
This isn't the first extremely close encounter humans have had with humpback whales in recent years. In 2011, a surfer in California was stunned by a surprise encounter with a feeding whale as well.