Kayaker blessed by a seal, slapped in the face with an octopus

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A man kayaking off the coast of New Zealand’s South Island was clobbered in the face with an octopus that had been clutched in a seal’s mouth, Yahoo7 News reports. But here’s the best part: the entire inter-species aquatic slap fight was caught on camera, so you can watch it as many times as you need to get through the day.

The video shows the seal rearing up out of the water with the octopus in its mouth, and whipping it at kayaker Kyle Mulinder. Mulinder’s Instagram bio says he’s a GoPro content creator, and he told Yahoo7 News: “My face happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Fellow kayaker Taiyo Masuda, who also describes himself as part of the GoPro family, says in the video’s description that he shot the scuffle on the new GoPro Hero 7 Black.

The GoPro Hero 7 line, officially announced last week, includes a new and improved image stabilization feature called Hypersmooth. “Hypersmooth makes handheld footage look like it came from a stabilized gimbal,” says Verge reporter Sean O’Kane. Even, apparently, when rocking on a kayak while your buddy is being smacked in the head by a cephalopod-wielding seal.

The seal in question was probably a New Zealand fur seal, which live around New Zealand and parts of Australia. We’ve asked the New Zealand Department of Conservation for confirmation, and we’ll update when we know for certain. But the seal in the video does seem to match the Department of Conservation’s online description: New Zealand fur seals have ear flaps, unlike other seals, and their fur looks nearly black when they’re in the water. From picking through their poop and puke, researchers also know that New Zealand fur seals are partial to octopus flesh.

These seals aren’t shy about snacking on camera, either. Last year, another kayaker in the same area spotted a seal vigorously dismembering a gigantic octopus. “The seal was shaking it like a staffy with its favourite chew toy,” local kayak guide Connor Staple told The Telegraph. No kayakers or their faces got in the seal’s way. This time, the octopus was luckier. You can see the tip of its arm clutching Mulinder’s kayak as the thwarted seal swims away.



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