Sea Otter Caught In Strange 'Embrace' With A Little Shark
“It really is hard to say what the otter was doing..."
While photographing marine life off the coast of California, Don Henderson and Alice Cahill spotted an unlikely pair floating together on the water's surface.
It was a sea otter and a little shark.
According to the nonprofit Sea Otter Savvy, though it isn't clear what brought the otter and shark together, such a sighting is basically unheard of.
"If you watch sea otters long enough you will see a reasonable sample of bottom-dwelling sea life brought to the surface out of hunger or curiosity," Sea Otter Savvy wrote. "We are not sure which was the case here but these 'jaw-dropping' images are the first known record of a 'foraging-like' interaction between a sea otter and this creature."
Though the otter may have been considering making a meal of the shark, appearing to give a few curious nibbles, that too would be a first. Michael Harris, a scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said such behavior has never been documented.
“It really is hard to say what the otter was doing with it,” Harris told the San Luis Obispo Tribune. "I really can’t say with any certainty."
After a few moments, the otter and shark parted ways.
What brought them together for that strange "embrace" will likely remain a mystery. But, alas, it wasn't meant to be.