This unbelievable moment was captured by a group of GoPro colleagues, off the coast of Kaikoura – on New Zealand’s South Island, whilst out testing the company’s latest devices.
The video was posted on Instagram by 22-year-old filmmaker Taiyo Masuda. It shows his friend and fellow GoPro camera content promoter Kyle Mulinder suddenly get slapped across the face by the octopus-swinging seal. Could the seal simply have tried to show its ‘seal of disapproval?’
Highly unlikely – sea lions and fur seals are known to hunt octopus, which can be notoriously hard to eat. Even after the kill, an octopus’ suckers can still grasp and stick, making swallowing a whole octopus a risky endeavour. However, tossing and thrashing the octopus about, can tenderise the meat for consumption, making the suckers less dangerous.
Dr Robert Harcourt, a professor of marine ecology at Macquire University in Sydney, who has studied fur seals in various parts of the world, have even seen seals tear up an Eastern Angel Shark at the surface before consumption.