Watch: Seal slaps a kayaker in the face with an octopus
A kayaker testing out a newly launched camera in the waters around New Zealand captured an incredible sight, when a seal appeared to throw an octopus at him.
Yahoo reports that, Kyle Mulinder was enjoying a clear day on waters off the coast of Kaikōura in the South Island when he was slapped in the face by the tentacles of the flying creature.
Mulinder told Australia’s Seven News he and his friends had been watching a seal tussle with a large octopus near their kayaks, before the seal burst out of the water with the animal lodged between its jaws.
“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 told the news channel. “I was like ‘mate, what just happened?’ It was weird because it happened so fast but I could feel all the hard parts of the octopus on my face.”
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CNBC reports that, There is an explanation, according to Rochelle Constantine, an associate professor at School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland.
It's not a pleasant one.
The seal was not intentionally trying to slap Mulinder in Constantine's view. The man was likely just in the way.
Instead, the seal was probably trying to rip the octopus' tentacle off with the force of the throw, she said in an email.
"I have seen seals doing this before, it's not an unusual sight but normally there isn't a person in the way," she wrote. "Often we see (seals) swallowing the tentacle at the surface like a large strand of spaghetti."
The seals often repeat the action multiple times, ripping off one tentacle at a time. Then Constantine believes the seals eat the rest of the body.
"It's a good meal, especially when they get a large octopus as shown in this footage," she wrote.
Morbid explanation aside, the video has prompted a lot of laughter, starting with Masuda and Mulinder.
"We instantly started laughing so (hard), we were talking about this all week," Masuda wrote to USA TODAY in an email.
He says the trip was a part of a launch event for the GoPro HERO7 camera. GoPro has shared the video on social media, where it's been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, CNBC reported.
My view: That's scary