A battle between a harbor seal and a giant octopus is making waves on the Internet after photographer Bob Ianson captured the strange sight on camera.
Ianson, who owns Heirloom Linens, says he was out for a walk with his family on the Ogden Point breakwater in Victoria, Canada, when he saw the two creatures battling one another on Monday. He immediately pulled out his camera.
"We were walking back, and up popped what at first looked like two seals," Ianson told the Huffington Post, "but once they got up to the surface I realized it was one seal with something in its mouth -- which turned out to be an octopus."
"The seal came up with this thing in its mouth, and it was almost as if he looked me in the eye, and presented it to me and said, 'Look what I have!' He was looking right at me."
The seal, which Ianson estimates was about four and a half feet long, tangled with the giant Pacific octopus for about ten minutes, until the octopus ultimately gave up.
Though "the edge obviously went to the seal," said Ianson, it was not a one-sided fight.
"I snapped off a couple pictures and he went back down with the octopus and came back up again. The third time he came back up, the octopus was wrapped around the seal ... The octopus literally had the entire head of the seal."
While the photos Ianson captured are astounding, experts say seals eating octopuses is actually a common occurrence.
"Octopus is a regular part of the harbor seal's diet," Vancouver Aquarium research biologist Chad Nordstrom told CBC. "Actually capturing it on film is the rare thing."
While we don't know the weight of the octopus in Ianson's photos, the Monterey Bay Aquarium reports a fully-grown giant Pacific octopus can weigh as much as 50 pounds. The largest on record weighed 600 pounds, and stretched nearly 30 feet across.
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