Whales Almost Eat Divers: See Massive Humpback Whales Lunge-feed Inches From California Divers [VIDEO, NSFW]

By Staff Reporter on July 22, 2013 5:12 PM EDT

Humpback whales nearly eat divers
A pair of humpback whales nearly eat divers in an incredible lunge-feed performance. (Photo: YouTube/shawn stamback)

Whales almost eat divers off Central California when a pair of humpbacks performed an open-mouth surface breach, also known as a lunge-feed.

Two divers, Shawn Stamback and Francis Antigua, were in the water among scattered sardines that were used to attract the magestic marine animals. The sardines did the trick. Two enormous humpback whales, which weight up to 40 tons, broke through the surface, frightening the divers as well as another two friends that were standing on the boat nearby.

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The divers were a part of a SloDivers charter that scuba dive at Souza Rock, just two miles from Morro Bay. According to Stamback, the group were merely passing time before the next scheduled dive.

A heartstopping surprise, the divers hoped to get shots of the humpback whales from a distance. "When we got in, the whales were about a quarter of a mile away," Stamback said.

The whales effectively closed the gap to mere feet.

Humpback whales live off a diet of shrimp-like krill and small fish, which are ingested with great volumes of water. The water is expelled through baleen plates. Sometimes the humpback whales perform techniques known as lunge-feeding to eat the krill and fish.

The gigantic animals could have seriously injured or even killed the divers if they had struck them during the lunge-feed.

"They certainly are lucky no one got hurt," said Monica DeAngelis, a mammal expert with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Watch the incredible video of the whales nearly eating the divers below!

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