Photo captures sea lion inside humpback whale’s mouth


MONTEREY, CA (CNN NEWSOURCE) – It’s not only something you don’t see often, but it’s also something rarely seen, if ever.

It’s the photo a marine biologist recently snapped, that had even him in awe.

“I get to see a lot of crazy stuff.  Never this,” Chase Dekker said. 

Chase Dekker was the marine biologist and photographer for Sanctuary Cruises when he got this spectacular image of a sea lion inside a humpback whale’s mouth.

“There’s a lot of people on a boat who have never even seen a whale. So the fact that they get to see something so amazing, something I’ve never seen in all my years doing this … it’s like, it’s mind-blowing,” Dekker said.

Sanctuary Cruises out of moss landing were watching a pod of humpbacks on a feeding frenzy when the freak act of nature happened.  

“And I was hoping I got the photo. I was looking behind the lens I was like ok I hope I got it and then I looked and I was so ecstatic because I just captured a moment I may never see again,” Dekker said.

Dekker posted the picture on Facebook for all to see, and it’s gone viral but there are some internet naysayers.

“People keep saying, well this is clearly photo-shopped. This is clearly taken on a dock or somewhere else and the sea lion was put in the whale’s mouth, so you’re getting a lot of that,” Dekker said.

Humpback whales don’t eat sea lions, they eat krill, plankton and small fish.

Dekker says there were also hundreds of sea lions in the feeding frenzy, this unlucky sea lion didn’t get out of the way quick enough when the humpback swam up to lunge feed.

When the whale went back down, the sea lion swam off.

“It may have a little PTSD, a little shaken up, but honestly it’s a lot worse things to worry about with all the sharks and orcas in the bay, it’s got a lot more on it’s mind than being in a whale’s mouth for a few seconds,” Dekker said.

Dekker is getting worldwide attention from the photo.

National Geographic is even interested in writing an article about it.

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