The ocean might seem bright and welcoming when you’re on the beach, but beneath the waves, it’s a different story! Deep in the murky depths, there are mysteries just waiting to be discovered. And sometimes, they get a little impatient…
One famed Kiwi adventurer thought he had seen it all, but then he got a serious reality check. We can count our lucky stars that he had a bunch of cameras with him to capture the encounter in its full glory because, without photos, you might never believe what he experienced…
Kyle Mulinder — known also by his online alias ‘Bare Kiwi’ — is an outdoorsman like no other. The proud New Zealand native is a lifelong fan of all kinds of adrenaline-pumping activities, and he’s taken his passion to the professional level.
Using his Bare Kiwi moniker, he built his own company and a gigantic social media following. But even with all of the adventures he’s shared online, Kyle had no idea what he would come face-to-face with in September 2018.
Though he has also conquered the land and sky, Kyle feels most at home on the water. It offers the most breathtaking views and close-up encounters with all manners of wildlife.
Kyle is such a pro that he even works on the side as a kayaking tour guide and instructor in his country’s scenic Abel Tasman National Park. New Zealand has over 9,000 miles of coastline, but Kyle basically knows every rock and inlet.
You might even say that kayaking was too easy for Kyle. He was always able to show off and have a great time, even in rough conditions. But one expedition took him completely by surprise…
Kyle set out on a kayaking trip with his good friend Taiyo Masuda, plus a few others. The two pals’ exploits caught the attention of Go Pro, which sent them on various outings to test out the company’s latest gear.
Kyle and Yairo previously embarked on far wilder challenges than a hum-drum kayaking voyage, so they let their guards down. Compared to bungee jumping, how crazy could a bit of paddling be?
Their target was the backwater town of Kaikoura. Although it was far off the beaten path, the seaside locale teemed with stunning vistas of cliffs, as well as close-up views of marine life.
New Zealand Geographic
In particular, Kaikoura gained fame for its seal colonies. Sure, these seals look cute but be forewarned, a full-grown adult weighs hundreds of pounds and they have a nasty bite to boot. They are certainly not to be trifled with.
Kyle and crew knew the risks, so they kept their distance. They focused instead on exploring the rugged New Zealand coastline and snapping some great photographs. Everything was going according to plan, at first.
Before too long, however, Kyle noticed some commotion in the waters up ahead. He came up a little bit closer to see what it was. Neither he nor his friends had ever seen anything quite like it.
It was a seal fighting an octopus! The two creatures wrestled with the octopus wrapping its tentacles around its enemy’s neck, and the seal responding with a series of sharp bites. It was a vicious inter-species brawl.
Then, just as quickly as it started, the fight stopped. The two creatures dipped underwater, and the roiling waters went quiet. Was it all over? Who won?
Out of nowhere, a huge shape hurtled upward next to Kyle. It was the seal holding the octopus in its mouth! The mammal whipped its head around and slapped the octopus right across Kyle’s face with a big wet smack.
Instagram / barekiwi
It all happened so fast that it took Kyle a few moments to piece together what just went down. The victorious seal swam off as he peeled a mass of suction cups off his face. It must have liked him because the octopus clung to Kyle’s kayak even after he tossed it back into the sea.
Kyle’s friend scraped it off the kayak, and they all took a closer look. Fortunately, the sea beast seemed completely unharmed, despite being body slammed between a giant seal and a human being.
After a few photos, they released the octopus back into the ocean. Kyle’s face stung a bit, but he was more overcome by laughter at his dumb luck. Who else in the course of human history had ever been hit in the face with a live octopus?
Kyle also has tremendous respect for sea life. As someone who had previously worked in marine conservation efforts, he felt mostly relieved that all the participants in the fight – himself included — walked away relatively unscathed.
Best of all, this freak encounter provided Kyle and Yairo with their most viral moment yet. Thanks to their handy cameras, news of the seal-octopus scuffle reached every corner of the internet.
Kyle is too determined of a sportsman to let one slap on the face stop him. He’s kayaking more than ever today, dead set on seeing every drop of every ocean in the world from his trusty vessel.
Maybe Kyle should wear a mouth guard next time he goes kayaking in Kaikoura.
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