Whale Gets Too Much Credit: It Did NOT Swallow a Lobster Diver

It simply ‘mouthed’ him 20 seconds… then spit him out

Doug Harris
2 min readJun 15, 2021
Michael Packard after a Jonah-like adventure

Headlines around the world declared, a few days ago, that a humpback whale “swallowed” a man off Cape Cod in Massachusetts. That did not happen.

In truth, the whale, finding itself with a strange creature in its mouth — whales aren’t interested in eating people — spit the man out.

USA Today: Swallowed by the whale: Lobster diver caught by humpback whale off Massachusetts beach

But the story as told in assorted headlines was much more likely to attract attention — clicks — than the truth. Sadly, online news sources too often do that — stretch or distort stories to catch readers’ attention.

Britain’s Mirror newspaper does so on a pretty regular basis when it reports the weather. A typical recent headline: “UK weather: Heatwave could hit 30C after hottest day of the year as scorcher continues”. The actual story said the temperature “might” make it up to 29° C — a toasty 84° F.

MSN News: Provincetown Man Gets Swallowed Whole By A Humpback Whale, Miraculously Survives



Doug Harris

50+ years a writer, 80+ unique bylines. Two blogs have reached 60+ countries.