Kyle Mulinder was out kayaking with his friends off the coast of New Zealand when he came face to tentacle with some fairly forward marine life.
The group was paddling in the Pacific, near Kaikoura, on New Zealand’s South Island, where dolphin, whale, and seal sightings are not uncommon. This was more than just a sighting, however, this was a swim-by happy-slapping, which Mulinder will never forget.
A member of the small flotilla, Taiyo Masuda, captured the moment a fur seal slapped Mulinder in the face with an octopus on his GoPro camera.
‘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 Yahoo7 News.
The sea and octopus were caught up in an underwater altercation that spilled up and over into the air, taking Mulinder as collateral damage.
Mulinder sat stunned in his craft as the seal and octopus fell back into the water to continue their fight. Perhaps the seal though Mulinder was a hard target he could use to weaken his eight-legged foe.
Realizing what he had just been slapped across the face with, the kayaker cringed.
“I was like ‘mate, what just happened?'” he said. “It was weird because it happened so fast but I could feel all the hard parts of the octopus on my face like ‘dum dum dum.'”
The octopus cringed to Mulinder’s kayak for a few seconds as the fight continued. But, in the end, the seal was victorious.
It’s not out of the ordinary that these two species would go flipper to tentacle. Bringing a human into their dispute is quite rare, although Mulinder may feel a little trepidation the next time he paddles out to sea.
See the fight, and the octopus, unfold in the video below!
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.