There is a video of a seal sucker punching a kayaker with an octopus,


I suppose the seal wasn't exactly trying to hit the kayaker, but why would it be flinging the octopus around above the surface of the water?

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    I protected this post as new answers from new users are not constructive. Pleaser feel free to remove the protection when you think protection is no longer needed. Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


Sea Lions and Fur Seals are known to eat octopus, but they're a bit difficult for them to eat as is. They're one of many creatures that fling food out of the ocean to tenderise, stun, kill, or rip food off of their prey.

According to: https://theconversation.com/tackling-the-kraken-unique-dolphin-strategy-delivers-dangerous-octopus-for-dinner-75222

During these events, dolphins were observed shaking and tossing octopus around at the water’s surface. In some instances, the prey was gripped in the teeth before being slapped down onto the water.

This likely helped both to kill the octopus and to tear it into smaller, more digestible pieces. In other instances, the octopus was tossed across the surface of the water before being recaptured and tossed again.

Also for light reading: https://www.livescience.com/63693-seal-smacks-kayaker-with-octopus.html - which states similar:

According to the study authors, octopus suckers can still grasp and stick even after the octopus is dead, making swallowing a whole octopus a dangerous endeavor. However, tossing and shaking the octopus can damage the tissue and make the suckers less dangerous.

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    And flinging it on a hard object (boat; stone) is more effective than on the water surface. Not sure if they have learned that, though.
    – user15958
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 15:42
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    I think in this case it would be safe to say it was accidental, but certainly sea lions will beat things to death on rocks, so it would not be an out of place suggestion
    – Aravona
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 15:46
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    This is very likely correct, as the clip of the kayakker getting slapped was apparently only part of a longer fight between the seal and octopus. To quote the original article: "Although the octopus put up a good fight, Mr Mulinder said the seal came out on top."
    – talrnu
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 18:52
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    And eating a still alive octopus brings the danger it will anchor itself in the seal's throat which will lead to suffocation and starvation. Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 8:54
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    @ratchetfreak - as quoted that's actually a danger dead or alive, the suckers can stick post death.
    – Aravona
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 9:07

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