Internet Culture

Sucker punch: Seal slaps kayaker with an octopus

The internet quickly gave its seal of approval to the latest viral video. It's kinda sealy.

You might think of seals as innocent, friendly little creatures who just want to live their lives and not get clubbed to death. But sometimes, it's the seal doing the clubbing. 

In a video that went viral on Wednesday, New Zealander Kyle Mulinder is seen kayaking with friends near the town of Kaikoura off the east coast of the South Island.

"After a fun paddle around the peninsula catching waves, we spotted a giant male seal fighting an octopus," Mulinder explained on his Instagram account. "Before we knew it, the fight came to us."  

All of a sudden, the seal popped right out of the water, and the floppy octopus it was battling ended up slapping Mulinder right in his face. You might say his fate was sealed.

"I'm not sure who got more of a surprise, the seal, the octopus or me," Mulinder wrote. "Either way, the octopus held onto the bottom of (the) kayak for some time before our guide was able to get it off with his paddle, then it swam away to fight another day. True story."

Mulinder's friend Taiyo Masuda captured the octopus' seal of approval via the GoPro Hero 7 camera he was wearing. And if you're thinking the footage is too good to be true, and must be fake, Masuda says there's no way something like this could be scripted. 

"Such a raw moment," Masuda told me, noting that the event had the men laughing for the rest of the trip. "What a day to remember."

Social media loves animal antics of all kinds, and Masuda and Mulinder's seal slap quickly earned captions, jokes and meme status.