A seal with an apparent knack for slapstick is getting some viral attention.
This week, an adventure-seeker in New Zealand posted a video of a group of people kayaking at sea when a seal appeared and approached one of the kayakers. With video from a GoPro camera rolling, the seal rose to the surface, grabbed an octopus in its mouth, and flung it out of the water, slapping the stunned kayaker in the face.
The video, originally posted to Instagram, is now getting worldwide attention. The New York Post published the short clip along with some insight from the person who took the video.
Kyle Mulinder, the kayaker who got a face full of octopus, later told Yahoo7 News that the video captured only one small portion of the fight between the seal and the octopus.
“We were just sitting out in the middle of the ocean and then this huge male seal appeared with an octopus and he was thrashing him about for ages,” Mulinder said.
The seal was in the middle of this thrashing when it made its way close to Mulinder, ultimately launching the octopus out of the water and into the man’s face.
Strange as it may sound, this is not the first time that a video of a seal battling an octopus in the waters off of New Zealand has gone viral in the past year. Another video from 2017 taken off the coast of New Zealand’s South Island showed an epic, 20-minute battle to the death between a seal and an octopus. As Fox News reported, the group of sea kayakers captured the battle, which involved the seal throwing the octopus out of the water multiple times.
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新しい @gopro #Hero7Black で衝撃映像撮れた???????? 4K60fpsの安定化オンで撮ったからここまで驚いて全部撮れてた！こんな楽しいカヤックはじめて！！音声も海とかのガチャガチャ音ないし最高！ @barekiwi getting octopus smashed into his face by a seal⁉️ I’ve never had such an amazing kayak everrrrr!! I am super stoked that the new @goproanz #Hero7Black captured without missing a thing although we shook so much, #hypersmooth the stabilisation managed it so well!! I made a little montage to show how good the audio came out!! No noises super clean!! Thanks to @kaikourakayaks @purenewzealand @kaikouranz @goprojp @howtodadnz @snapair for such an epic trip!! #gopro #ゴープロ #ゴープロのある生活
Conner Stapley, a guide with Kaikoura Kayaks who was there for the 2017 seal-octopus battle, said it isn’t unusual to see a seal attacking an octopus, one of the seal’s favorite meals.
“This octopus had no chance really. Seals love eating them and will eat up to 7kg of octopus a day, around here it is a staple part of their diet,” Stapley said.
While Kyle Mulinder may have been stunned, the octopus that slapped him in the face appeared to survive the incident. The video captured the aquatic animal starting to swim away underneath the kayak, though it wasn’t clear if the seal was able to finish the job and take the octopus for a meal.