Vicious. Deadly. Merciless.
Those are the words we'd use to described the leopard seal. Not only are they fierce hunters, but they are the only seals that will eat other warm-blooded animals. And don't even think for a moment that they're above cannibalism either.
So, confronting one of these bad boys has got to be like, pant-sh*ttingly scary. But even the fiercest of creatures have a soft spot...but discovering just where that might be — or if they'd like to show it at all — is well, terrifying. But a soft spot is just what National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen found when he slipped and fell in the Antarctic while photographing.
Oddly, the leopard seal didn't behave quite the way Nicklen thought it would (i.e. mangling his body). Turns out, this particular leopard seal has a bit of motherly instinct — which was clear when it started offering "food" (we wouldn't call penguins food, but hey — gotta be open minded) to Nicklen. Nature, you be crazy!
Watch the vid for yourself and see all of the uhhhhh-mazing pictures Nicklen took of their encounter.
Image: Hi sweetie, I saved some dinner for you! Courtesy of National Geographic's YouTube channel