It sounds like a real-life take on “Pinocchio” — a US lobster fisherman was miraculously saved after he was scooped into the mouth of a humpback whale on Friday and yet lived to tell the story.

Hours after the incident, Michael Packard wrote on Facebook, “I was in his closed mouth for about 30 to 40 seconds before he rose to the surface and spit me out.” He told that a humpback whale tried to eat him but he has no broken bones, only bruises. 

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The 56-year-old Packard went looking for lobsters on Friday morning, he told local paper Cape Cod Times that when he was diving for lobsters off the coast, all of a sudden he felt a huge shove, and the next thing he knew was darkness and end for him. He was about 35feet down and his first thought was that he was attacked by a shark and was in its mouth. Packard said he tried to struggle to escape, and the moment he saw light, he started throwing his head side-to-side and after a while, was outside in the water. 

“I had no reason to doubt the account,” said Jooke Robbins, director of humpback whale studies at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She told AFP that she didn’t think it was a hoax because she knew the people who were involved. Robbins said she had never heard of such accidents but it may be that Packard was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

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According to experts, humpbacks don’t actually eat people, and this kind of behavior is essentially unheard of and was just an incident.  Humpback whales are “gulp feeders” who eat by unhinging their mouths and taking big lunges through water, said Marine mammal expert Peter Corkeron of the New England Aquarium.