It seems pretty rare to run across an octopus, let alone witness it devouring an unsuspecting seagull. Amateur photographer Ginger Morneau was in the right place at the right time though when the surprising act occurred.
It was a stunning moment, to be sure, Morneau told the Vancouver Sun of the giant Pacific octopus grabbing the seagull.
The hungry octopus in question lives off the Pacific coast of Canada's Victoria Ogden Point breakwater. Morneau, with her husband Ken and brother Lou Barker, were taking a walk when they saw the tentacles come up from the water to pull the seagull down.
I saw the bird in the water and it looked like he was pecking at something underwater, she said. The bird was actually pecking at the octopus. That was the odd part, Morneau continued, That's what made us step forward and we realize there was an octopus.
That was when the amateur photographer decided to capture the moment on camera. It was apparent that it was going to lose, she said. The hair was standing up on the back of my neck.
For Morneau, witnessing the death of the bird was like watching a car wreck. It was so primal and gut wrenching.
Although wanting to help the bird, the woman didn't. You get those little images in your mind of getting grabbed by the octopus yourself and pulled in. They're very primitive, intimidating creatures up close.
Morneau took four photos that spanned just under a minute. Later, she said that the three of them had calamari for lunch.
It was really sad at the (final) moment, she told the Canadian Press. For as wonderful as nature is, nature can be deadly.
According to National Geographic, the giant Pacific octopus grows bigger and lives longer than any other octopus species. Generally the creatures average 16 feet and 110 lbs.
Feeding on the seagull isn't that much of a surprise. National Geographic sates that their primary source of food is shrimp, lobster, clams and fish, but the giant Pacific octopus has been known to attack and eat birds, as well as sharks.
As witnessed in the pictures taken by Morneau, the octopus used its tentacles to drag the bird down. What the pictures didn't capture was the sea creatures sharp, beaklike mouths. These mouths prove to be deadly as they can puncture and tear flesh.
To see more pictures of Morneau's fascinating (and horrifying) discovery, click here.