And it’d be hard to blame them. This one sure sounds like a whopper.
Credit: Chase DekkerOK, so here's what happened.
The sea lion was feeding off the coast of California, as usual, when a group of humpback whales dropped in to do the same — employing their lunging technique to gobble up krill and small fish. Well, during one such open-mouthed lunge, the hapless sea lion found himself directly in one of the whales' path.
Then he wound up in her mouth.
Credit: Chase Dekker"I couldn’t believe it," Chase Dekker, a wildlife photographer who snapped this image of the incredible moment while aboard a Sanctuary Cruises whale-watching vessel, told The Dodo. "These lunge events happen so quick I hardly had any time to comprehend what I was witnessing."
Chances are, the sea lion and whale were in disbelief, too.
Humpback whales don't eat sea lions; in fact, their bodies aren't designed to swallow something so large. And lucky for the sea lion, this whale wasn't interested in trying:
"While I couldn't see when, I am 100 percent confident the sea lion escaped as the whale kept its mouth wide open as it sank back down into the sea," Dekker wrote.
Credit: Chase DekkerAfterward, the whale and sea lion continued to feed — the latter presumably giving his larger counterpart a bit more space following that unbelievable oopsie.
Fortunately, thanks to Dekker's quick camera skills, we have photographic proof of this sea lion's whale of a tale.
"I just did what I always do and that’s aim my camera and shoot in an effort to immortalize this natural event," Dekker said.