Divers caught in sperm whale's giant underwater poo cloud

23/01/15

Whale pooing in the water

When Keri Wilk dived into clear waters off the island of Dominica, swimming through a massive whale poo was not in the plan. But it's what happened.

"At first, it seemed like a regular bowel movement," Keri explained.

"But rather than continuing its dive down, it remained at the surface and continued to defecate for a startling length of time.

The "poonado" then spread through the water - ending up in Keri's mouth - as the whale flapped its tail.

Whale pooing in the water

"Four of us looked at each other with confusion, then back at the whale, expecting that any second its call from nature would come to an end.

"Instead, the whale bobbed up and down, spun in circles and waved the poo in every direction for several minutes while we just sat back and watched."

Keri said the poo ended up spreading about 30 metres around him and his three fellow divers.

Whale pooing in the water

'Like chocolate milk'

Scuba equipment can disturb whales, so Keri prefers to dive with just goggles and a snorkel.

"The water was crystal clear, initially, and was the most idyllic Caribbean blue water that you could imagine.

"After a few waves of faeces were released and stirred vigorously by the whale, the water was like chocolate milk, I couldn't see my hand when I held it in front of my face.

"I had poop in my eyes, mouth, wetsuit, everywhere and I was soaked in it from head to toe. But, after leaving the cloud, it quickly washed away, and didn't leave a smell on us.

Whale pooing in the water

"I did take an extra long shower once I returned to shore later that day, just in case.

"I've never heard of it happening before, and I don't know anyone that has had this happen, it very well could be the first time that it has been photographically documented.'

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