“An Unlikely Battle: Sea Lion vs Octopus
Lindsay Bryant was about to go for a swim when her attention was caught by a sea lion thrashing in the water nearby. At first, she thought the sea lion was just catching fish, but as she started filming, she realized it was actually fighting with an octopus.
The epic battle unfolded just south of Nanaimo, about 110 kilometers north of Victoria on Vancouver Island, stunning the local woman who regularly swims in those waters.
The Unexpected Encounter
Bryant, who swims in the area multiple times a week, says sea lions are a near-daily sight, but she’s never before seen an octopus, let alone a sea lion fighting with one. The event took place about 100 meters from where she was standing, and she could hear the sea lion breathing heavily and repeatedly disappearing below the surface, only to come up again, sometimes tossing the octopus across the water.
At first, Bryant thought the sea lion was in danger and that its behavior was far from normal. Andrew Trites, a marine mammal researcher, explained that based on the footage, Bryant had witnessed a Steller sea lion eating a large octopus. He also added that while it’s common for Steller sea lions to prey on octopuses, it is uncommon for such an encounter to be caught on film. Octopi can fight back fiercely, and battles between sea lions and octopuses can result in a tough fight for both parties.
A Worthy Surprise
Bryant isn’t sure what happened to either animal, but she believes the sea lion won the battle, though not without a fair bit of pushback from the octopus. She says this encounter stands out among her many memorable experiences with ocean life and was a neat surprise in the end.
This captivating battle between a sea lion and an octopus serves as a reminder of the complex interactions between marine animals and the intriguing moments that nature has to offer. Did the sea lion really win, or did the octopus put up an even better fight? This encounter invites us to wonder about the many unseen struggles that take place in the vast ocean, leaving us with an appreciation for the awe-inspiring surprises that nature has in store for us.”