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May 10, 2014 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Photographer gets hugs from baby seals. (SLYT)
posted by griphus (42 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't think that's a hug. I think that's an attack. He's lucky he didn't get bitten.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:22 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


I was valiantly fighting against having the same idea as Chocolate Pickle in the face of the man's transcendent joy at the experience.
posted by winna at 6:25 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


I think that's right; the seal is trying to fight him and he isn't cooperating.
posted by Justinian at 6:30 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


More like giant cats. Giant cats with flippers.
posted by Pudhoho at 6:31 PM on May 10 [5 favorites]


Seal #1: Oy! 'ere's the peeper been taking pictures of everybody when they's asleep!

Seal #2: Quick, hold him down until the cops get here!
posted by Kevin Street at 6:34 PM on May 10 [7 favorites]


And the seal was like "that was the least remarkable cuddling of my life"
posted by crayz at 6:37 PM on May 10 [15 favorites]


More like photographer gets smooshed by baby seals. What a way to go!
posted by leslies at 6:39 PM on May 10


Actually, this is just what sea lions and seal pups do; they will crawl up to anything that seems friendly.

It's one of the things spelled out in the Marine Animal Protection Act. Because it would be so easy to habituate them to humans that it becomes dangerous for the critter.

All that said, I'd do the exact same thing as the photographer, giggling included. Because they are like giant adorable ultra soft looking babies. With the ability to lovingly cuddle-crush you.
posted by quin at 6:46 PM on May 10 [30 favorites]


He just got the seal of approval.
posted by islander at 6:48 PM on May 10 [48 favorites]


Yeah, it seems a lot like, "Look, there is a big bright warm-looking creature that does not already have seal pups on it. Let's get some body heat." Just as my Siamese cats took about a nanosecond to realize that the 3 shih tzu are Nature's Little Radiators and flop upon them now at every opportunity.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:50 PM on May 10 [7 favorites]


I'll bet he smells wonderful now.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:52 PM on May 10 [7 favorites]


You just can't hear the seals calling "STEAMROLLER"!!!!
posted by Archer25 at 7:05 PM on May 10


Yeah he's way too close to them. I realize wildlife may approach you if you stay still long enough, but it looks like he plopped himself down right beside a group.
posted by zachlipton at 7:16 PM on May 10


Yeah he's way too close to them. I realize wildlife may approach you if you stay still long enough, but it looks like he plopped himself down right beside a group.

Yep. He should be fined.
posted by uraniumwilly at 8:23 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


that seal wants the d
posted by Greg Nog at 8:23 PM on May 10 [6 favorites]


God Emperor of Schmooze.
posted by adipocere at 8:31 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


You know what would be cute? If, while he was pinned down, a three-tonne adult elephant seal flopped over and crushed him to death.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:36 PM on May 10 [4 favorites]


I love the penguins coming together and milling around in the background: "Don't look now but that's some totally inappropriate behavior going on over there. Do you think we ought to report them or something?"
posted by Anitanola at 8:42 PM on May 10 [4 favorites]


It's the most wonderful thing I've ever seen
posted by growabrain at 8:45 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Btw, the next video that the 'Ireland's National Television and Radio Broadcaster' channel offers, is this strange Toblerone ad (NSFW)... WTF?
posted by growabrain at 8:54 PM on May 10


After the second seal came over I started picturing more and more of them turning their attention to this guy. Then it cuts to a shot of the CNN.com homepage, and off to the side you see one link with the headline, 'Irish photojournalist crushed to death under pile of seals'.
posted by obliterati at 8:59 PM on May 10 [7 favorites]


Yeah. Don't do that.
posted by Chuffy at 9:27 PM on May 10


And he never walked again.
posted by chrominance at 9:28 PM on May 10


I guess he was keeping his hand out of the way in case it got bitten, but I think that seal wanted its head scratched.
posted by Catch at 9:33 PM on May 10


I don't think that's a hug. I think that's an attack. He's lucky he didn't get bitten.

You are fired from the zoo.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:43 PM on May 10 [4 favorites]


He should be fined.

He's using the factory Canon strap. Isn't that punishment enough?
posted by cribcage at 9:57 PM on May 10 [6 favorites]


I used to find this sort of thing ridiculously cute until I went to Sea World as a little kid. I had been chosen out of the audience to be the trainer's assistant, and after helping her cajole a variety of tricks out of different sea animals, the trainer asked me if I would like to be the first person to hug a sea mammal today. Earlier I had seen baby seals out and about in their exhibit and I thought that I was about to snuggle with an adorable pudgy baby.

"Yes, of course!"

"Great! C'mere, Wally!"

Wally, as it happened, was neither adorable nor a baby, because rather than being a seal, he was a fully grown sea lion. He was half foot taller than me when reared up, which was quite a feat generally speaking because at 8 years old I was already at least 5'5". The trainer laughs and directs him to me just as I am realizing what a precarious situation I am in. Tentatively I reach out my arms to give him a hug that does not require me to come all that close to him. The trainer decides that is insufficient and gently pushes me face to face and body to body with Wally. Within 5 seconds he sneezed, coughed, and snorgled all over my face, and I left the show with a lifetime mistrust of all things Zalophus californianus.

So to this I say, no thank you, because I remember the fear that comes with knowing that at any instant, a fucking sea lion could topple over and crush me with his blubbery bubbly butt, cuteness of his offspring notwithstanding.
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:58 PM on May 10 [12 favorites]


Those seals totally wanted their ears scratched, guaranteed.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:45 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Not so cute when a bassethound does it to your leg.

(ok, maybe that's a little cute...)
posted by not_on_display at 11:10 PM on May 10


how to cuddle with an elephant seal
posted by homunculus at 12:09 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Just to put on my grumpy old man hat but jeez, these videos annoy me. These are wild animals for heaven's sake: not some cutesy, cuddley antro-morphic creature whose sole purpose is to make humans feel good about themselves and shoot themselves high with tons of 'awwwhhh' cuteness. Seals stink, have no feelings of good-will towards man, and would happily chomp a piece of us if they gave it a second thought. They have no respect for us as humans - fear maybe - but not respect. Yet there is a section among us who insist on seeing them as a some sort of toy for our amusement and our pseudo feel-good factor about the animal kingdom. Sorry, but these are just seals. No more, no more less. Can we stop make them some goddamn feel-good vehicle. Tons of blubber, nothing less, nothing more.

And, yes, get off my lawn!

[edit] minor typos due to outrage being close to max.
posted by vac2003 at 1:43 AM on May 11 [3 favorites]


Except for the tons of blubber you could be describing most cats...
posted by Justinian at 2:54 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]


But they are giving him hugs.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:13 AM on May 11 [7 favorites]


...not some cutesy, cuddley antro-morphic creature whose sole purpose is to make humans feel good about themselves and shoot themselves high with tons of 'awwwhhh' cuteness. Seals stink, have no feelings of good-will towards man, and would happily chomp a piece of us if they gave it a second thought. They have no respect for us as humans - fear maybe - but not respect. Yet there is a section among us who insist on seeing them as a some sort of toy for our amusement and our pseudo feel-good factor about the animal kingdom. Sorry, but these are just seals. No more, no more less. Can we stop make them some goddamn feel-good vehicle.Tons of blubber, nothing less, nothing more.

That's actually exactly how I feel about human babies!
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:28 AM on May 11 [8 favorites]


People are animals, too.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:30 AM on May 11


Tons of blubber, nothing less, nothing more.

That's actually exactly how I feel about human babies!


I don't mean to sound judgemental, but I think you might be feeding your babies a bit too much.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:42 AM on May 11 [7 favorites]


So I get why you don't set the camera down, but you totally have an open had for giving tummy rubs!
posted by cjorgensen at 6:47 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


That's actually exactly how I feel about human babies!

Turbid Dahlia, you owe me a new keyboard. (you glorious bastard!)
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 7:03 AM on May 11


strange Toblerone ad

Appears to be part of a comedy programme.
posted by asok at 7:22 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


He seems happier about it than this guy.
posted by capricorn at 7:39 AM on May 11


I don't mean to sound judgemental, but I think you might be feeding your babies a bit too much.

I do take candy from them wherever possible.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:05 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


vac2003: Seals stink, have no feelings of good-will towards man, and would happily chomp a piece of us if they gave it a second thought. They have no respect for us as humans - fear maybe - but not respect. Yet there is a section among us who insist on seeing them as a some sort of toy for our amusement and our pseudo feel-good factor about the animal kingdom. Sorry, but these are just seals. No more, no more less. Can we stop make them some goddamn feel-good vehicle. Tons of blubber, nothing less, nothing more.

Sigh.... the usual "Animals are nothing at all like us, and can't feel the same emotions, and besides they're just furry automatons of instinct, so any similarities you perceive between these creatures that only differ from us in 2.5% of their genome is purely coincidental!" crap.

Sans any citations to back up these scientifical facts about animal behavior and perceptions.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:25 PM on May 14


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