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.
In the deep sea it is estimated 90% of animals produce some kind of light,
either with their own chemical reactions or in cooperation with onboard bacteria.
Down in the dark waters, that light does everything, from confusing predators,
to attracting mates or prey. However, the disco clam lives in the shallow waters
surrounding Indonesia where bioluminescence is not as useful, so why flash?
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.