A seal is making headlines after slapping an unsuspecting kayaker in the face with an octopus in a video that’s now gone viral.
Kyle Mulinder was kayaking off the coast of Kaikoura, on New Zealand’s South Island, when a seal came out of the water and slapped him in the face with an octopus tentacle, Daily Mail reports.
Another kayaker caught the incident on his GoPro, which you can view below.
“No way! That was mental!” one of Mulinder’s friends is heard shouting in the video.
According to Mulinder, the group noticed the seal and the octopus fighting nearby, shortly before the seal emerged and flung the octopus at his face. “We were just sitting out in the middle of the ocean and then this huge male seal appeared with an octopus and he was thrashing him about for ages,” Mulinder told Yahoo.
“[The seal] thrashed it in mid fight and my face happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he recalls.
Everything happened so fast that Mulinder barely had a chance to catch the seal and octopus sink back in the water after he recovered from the tentacle slap.
“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,’” he says to Yahoo.
According to Mulinder, the octopus must have won the fight, because he re-emerged from the water and grabbed hold of the end of Mulinder’s kayak. Mulinder told Yahoo that he needed the help of another kayaker to get the octopus to let go.
Mulinder, a content creator for GoPro, was kayaking with a group of other content creators testing the company’s latest camera, the Hero7, when the incident took place. He says he instantly got recognition from the video after interviewing with Network 10.
“My Uber driver who just brought us here just goes ‘you’re the guy, you’re the octopus guy’,” Mulinder told Network 10. He also told the network the response from viewers has been overwhelming. “Theres a couple hundred emails sitting in there, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing, people are literally cold calling me, my Instagram has gone crazy.”
Although the slap in the face was probably a once-in-a-lifetime occurance, seals often thrash around octopi before eating them, so the animals weren’t doing anything out of the ordinary, Network 10 reports.