Kyle Mulinder, a self-described “GoPro content creator,” was kayaking with friends off the coast of Kaikoura when all of a sudden, what was likely a New Zealand fur seal — an animal in the same family as sea lions — broke the surface and smacked him the face with an octopus.
Taiyo Masuda, another GoPro videographer who was also on the trip, posted the jaw-dropping moment to Instagram on Sunday, complete with a slow-motion version if you like to octopi your time with that kind of thing.
When the video hit Twitter on Wednesday, many gave the incident their seal of approval.
Though Mulinder called the animal a seal in his Instagram post, some on social media said that the animal is actually a sea lion, presumably because it has external (or visible) ears. The answer may be a bit more complicated. The area where the video was shot is known as a great place to see New Zealand fur seals, which have external ears and are more closely related to sea lions than to true seals.
Mulinder didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
He told Yahoo 7 News that he and his kayaking buds had been watching the seal and the octopus fighting for quite a while. Apparently, the aquatic animals’ duel eventually went deep underwater before the seal popped up and hit Mulinder with the salty surprise.
“He thrashed it in mid fight and my face happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Mulinder told the outlet. “I was like, ‘Mate, what just happened?’ 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.’”
After Mulinder got a face full of cephalopod, the octopus clung to his kayak until an instructor helped pry the creature off and back into the sea, where hopefully it is quietly plotting well-armed revenge.