An unruly seal which shocked a kayaker by throwing an octopus in his face was trying to stun its prey before eating it, scientists have revealed.
The surprising incident was captured on a GoPro camera off the coast of Kaikoura, on New Zealand’s South Island.
Kyle Mulinder was paddling when the seal burst out of the water, launched into the air and whipped the octopus directly into his face.
The seal was trying to stun the octopus and mistook Mr Mulinder for a rock, according to scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand.
The group of content creators were out testing a new GoPro model off the coast of the South Island when Kyle Mulinder was caught up in a battle between a seal and octopus
‘Seals will often try and get their prey out of the water and above the surface to gain the upper hand in a tussle,’ NIWA posted on Facebook. ‘Once out of the water they will try flinging them about to stun them.
‘At that point it is normal for a seal to try to fling the octopus against a hard object to tear the octopus apart. So to the seal, the kayaker seemed like a reasonable enough object.’ Mr Muliner said he was sitting in the middle of the ocean when the seal suddenly emerged.
‘I was like ”Mate, what just happened?”’ he said.
Source: Daily Mail; “Seal Slaps a Kayaker In The Face With a Gigantic Octopus” By Ben Hill and Wade Sellers For Daily Mail Australia