New Zealand kayaker and travel photographer Kyle Mulinder was slapped in the face by an octopus that was hurled in his direction by a seal.

Wellington - A New Zealand kayaker received the surprise of his life when he was slapped in the face by an octopus that was hurled in his direction by a seal.

Travel photographer Kyle Mulinder, who posts on social media as BareKiwi, was looking for fur seals and birds during a kayak trip in Kaikoura on New Zealand's South Island at the weekend when he saw a giant seal fighting an octopus.

"It was quite a way away and then next thing it just went deep and we didn't know where the seal was and honestly out of nowhere... it popped up right beside us," he told the New Zealand Herald on Thursday. “I was like ‘mate, what just happened?’ It was weird because it happened so fast but I could feel all the hard parts of the octopus on my face.”

He said he wasn't sure who got the bigger fright, the octopus, the seal or himself.

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新しい @gopro #Hero7Black で衝撃映像撮れた🤣🤣 4K60fpsの安定化オンで撮ったからここまで驚いて全部撮れてた!こんな楽しいカヤックはじめて!!音声も海とかのガチャガチャ音ないし最高! @barekiwi getting octopus smashed into his face by a seal⁉️ I’ve never had such an amazing kayak everrrrr!! I am super stoked that the new @goproanz #Hero7Black captured without missing a thing although we shook so much, #hypersmooth the stabilisation managed it so well!! I made a little montage to show how good the audio came out!! No noises super clean!! Thanks to @kaikourakayaks @purenewzealand @kaikouranz @goprojp @howtodadnz @snapair for such an epic trip!! #gopro #ゴープロ #ゴープロのある生活

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Mulinder, who works for Go Pro, had a camera attached to his boat which captured the bizarre encounter.

The octopus - apparently relieved at having escaped the seal - then attached itself to the bottom of the kayak and refused to let go. But eventually "the seal swam away, the octopus went the other way and we paddled off, wondering what had just happened," Mulinder said.

The Independent on Saturday