STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Does a video posted to social media show a whale "just swallow up some folks whole"? No, that's not true: While the video is real, the breaching humpback whale it shows that capsized a kayak, knocking two women briefly into the water, did not "swallow" either woman or their boat, one of the women told Lead Stories.
A version of this claim originated in a video on Instagram on June 5, 2023, with a caption that read:
Way'ment..... did that Whale just swallow up some folks whole?!? 👀😳😳😳
Ok, that's quite ENOUGH internets for me tonight! #HeyGoogleDisconnectANiggaFromTheInternets
Below is how the post appeared at the time of writing:
(Source: Instagram screengrab taken Thurs June 8 19:05:32 UTC 2023)
The original video was first captured in November 2020, according to various credible news accounts published at the time. Although numerous credible publications reported that the two women shown in the video were knocked out of their kayak after it was capsized by a humpback whale, various outlets have since followed the false trope that the women and their boat were also swallowed by the whale.
The event was captured by phone on two different devices, each with their own perspective. In the first video, in the post on Instagram, it appears as if the breaching whale fully engulfed a kayak along with its paddlers. However, a second angle clearly showed the whale hitting the kayak from underneath the ocean surface to displace both the vessel and its passengers.
An interview with St. Louis-based KSDK News and McSorley and Cottriel describing the event was published shortly after the event on YouTube on November 3, 2020. At no point during the interview did either woman state that they or their kayak had been swallowed "whole."
Lead Stories has debunked other claims surrounding marine animals, including that a great white shark did not try to attack a parasailer, that a photo did not show one of the largest blue whales ever caught on camera and that there were no "freshwater sharks" found in a Maryland lake.
2023-06-09T20:43:27Z 2023-06-09T20:43:27ZUpdates with comments from Julie McSorley.