National Geographic Gives Us Intimate Moments with a Leopard Seal

Too bad there are no leop­ard seals on Nation­al Geo­graph­ic’s pay­roll. Pho­tog­ra­ph­er Paul Nicklen’s inti­mate por­traits of the one who took par­tic­u­lar inter­est in him on a recent Antarc­tic expe­di­tion are delight­ful. Imag­ine how great it would be to have some reverse angle reac­tion shots of Nicklen as his new friend attempts to serve him a suc­ces­sion of live, dead, and muti­lat­ed pen­guins.

He may have turned up his nose at his sub­jec­t’s cui­sine, but Nicklen brings some­thing else to the table, name­ly four days’ worth of up close and per­son­al shots of an ani­mal doing some­thing oth­er than going about its busi­ness. With­out anthro­po­mor­phiz­ing its inten­tions over much, this crea­ture went out of its way to accli­mate its strange guest to his new sur­round­ings, stick­ing around when less­er hosts would have aban­doned him along­side the buf­fet. Pret­ty cool when you con­sid­er that Nick­len’s entire head could — and briefly did — fit inside its mas­sive, sharp fanged jaws.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Mari­achi Band Ser­e­nades Bel­u­ga Whale at Mys­tic Aquar­i­um

The Wild King­dom: Brought to You by Mutu­al of Oma­ha (It’s on YouTube)

Film­ing a Sprint­ing Chee­tah at 1,200 Frames Per Sec­ond

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day’s encoun­ters with species oth­er than her own are a fea­ture of her mem­oir, No Touch Mon­key! And Oth­er Trav­el Lessons Learned Too Late

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.