Stunning underwater footage recently caught the moment a 35,000-pound humpback whale nearly swallowed a diver in the Norwegian Sea.
Patrick Dykstra, the owner of Picture Adventure Expeditions, told ABC News today that the close encounter happened this Monday, when he was leading photographers on an underwater expedition off the coast of northern Norway.
They were capturing photos and videos of orcas, also known as killer whales, he said, adding that the trip was organized by his company.
"There were a lot of killer whales feeding on herring at the time," he said. "They were using their tails to round up a nice big ball of herring."
But before the killer whales could finish rounding up the fish, a humpback whale charged up from below and swallowed the ball, and Dykstra captured video of the moment.
"It's hard to tell from the video, but the whale swerved last minute to avoid hitting me," he said. "It's fascinating how something so big and moving so fast could avoid me last minute. They're incredibly intelligent creatures that know exactly where they are."
The humpback whale "landed just a foot away," Dykstra added. "It was the greatest moment of my life. It was so exciting to be so close to something so big."
He said that he has been swimming with whales for over 20 years and "nothing like this has ever happened" and that the close encounter was "incredibly, incredibly special" to him.