Whales don’t spray water from their blowholes and other myths, debunked
We’re dispelling the most common misconceptions about these marine mammals—which is essential to keeping them safe and healthy.
The belief that whales are so large they can swallow humans alive is as old as the Biblical story of Jonah and the whale. But while there have been instances of humans being engulfed in a whale’s mouth—including, most recently, a lobster fisherman in Cape Cod, Massachusetts—most whales are not even capable of swallowing people.
As Nicola Hodgins of the U.K. nonprofit Whale and Dolphin Conservation told National Geographic in the wake of the latest such incident, the throats of most whales are too small to swallow something as big as a human. For example, a humpback whale’s mouth can reach up to 10 feet but its throat can