How To Survive Being Eaten By A Whale

Oh, those pesky whales. It seems us land mammals can’t swim more than three feet in the ocean without encountering one of these giant, gentle beasts. With such an overpopulation of whales these days, it’s no wonder marine biologists frequently and candidly refer to them as “the rats of the sea.”

jonah-whaleWhile whales rarely mean to cause harm to us humans, the sad fact is that they are just too hungry (and stupid) for their own good. What with the constant skimming for krill, it’s no wonder those bumbling sacks of blubber swallow an estimated 5 million people each year.

Do these people die once swallowed? Some do, yes. But others, such as Jonah from the Bible or Pinocchio from the Koran, survive comfortably and live to tell the tale. While these heroes only survived in a whale for a few days, long-term survival is also possible (example: I once successfully dodged the draft by living in a whale for two years straight). So, if you ever find yourself eye-to-eye with a whale, take a few tips from the expert (i.e. me), and you’ll likely emerge unscathed.

Get Swallowed Whole

Living inside a whale is hard enough as it is. Suffering a lost limb, open gash or decapitated head upon entry will certainly make survival a bit more difficult. Because of this, when encountering a whale, experts agree that curling up into a tight ball is the best course of action. That way, when swallowed, you will minimize the surface area of your body that might become crushed or caught on one of the whale’s many giant, jagged teeth.

Avoid The Whale’s Stomach Acid

Like most animals, the whale’s stomach contains a noxious concoction of highly acidic bile. Let the bile come in contact with your body for too long, and oops, you’ve been digested (and later, turned into poop!). Don’t let the whale win like this – as soon as you enter the beast’s stomach, hop out of the pool of bile and into a floating piece of wreckage. Whales swallow tons of junk everyday, so there will be plenty of items to choose from – rowboats, the crow’s nest from a pirate ship, a sailor’s coffin that was thrown overboard (tip: dump the sailor’s rotting corpse overboard for extra room).

Don’t Worry About Oxygen

Some people think that all those noxious fumes in the stomach might be poisonous if inhaled. While this might be true if swallowed whole by another animal, as cartoons have taught us, a whale’s stomach is inexplicably linked directly to the mammal’s blowhole, for some reason. As such, plenty of fresh oxygen will get circulated throughout your new home.

Catch Food To Eat

I hope you like eating krill, because that’s what’s going to be served at Chez Whale for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Use a fishnet to skim these little crustaceans out of the bile and into your makeshift life raft.

Pass The Time

Once you’ve attended to your basic needs for survival, it’s time to address the next biggest concern: dying of boredom. If you planned ahead, hopefully you brought along some coloring books or something to keep you busy. If not, you might try using the bones of fish and dead sailors to put on a puppet show. Or, try using a wooden plank to see how fast you can row around the circumference of the stomach. Then, try to beat your record!

Escape From the Whale’s Stomach (Optional)

No matter how much fun you’re having in the whale’s stomach, eventually you’ll probably begin to miss things like eating beef, watching sunsets, discussing the weather with acquaintances, and walking. Here are a few ways to end your captivity and get back to the “real” world:

  • Like Geppetto, you can start a campfire and force the whale to sneeze you out
  • Jonah was vomited out by his whale – use Ipecac if available
  • Use a rope to climb out the blowhole
  • Use dynamite to blow a hole in the side of the whale


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