This video of an Elephant seal surfing up onto the Mexico coast at least makes me feel better about my “beach body” that was supposed to be ready way before summer began.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an Elephant seal, nor did I realize how massive they, until I saw this video. The sea creature crawls its way out of the ocean and onto the beach, eventually coming to rest near a car, which is about half the size as the Elephant seal.
As you’ll see in the clip, navigating on land is not the large seal’s strong suit. Their flippers are, some might say, disproportionate to their body, and allow them to still get around in the water okay, but makes traversing the beach a challenge.
And I’m not really sure how big their flippers would need to be for them to get around easier on land, considering that full grown male Elephant seals usually weigh anywhere between 5,000 to 7,000 pounds and span an impressive 16 feet in length.
The question with this video (which is honestly kind of funny) is what was this Elephant seal trying to do? For the most part, these sea mammoths spend a lot of their time in the sea, diving as deep as 2,500 feet searching for prey like squid, sharks, rays, and fish.
Elephant seals are really only known to come ashore to breed, give birth, or molt, and it didn’t appear that this one was doing any of those common “big seal” activities. In fact, they usually only come out of the water at rookeries used specifically by their species. It is believed that the closest breeding colony for Elephant seals is hundreds of miles away from where this video was shot.
So after further review, it appears that this particular monster (that might be harsh, but I mean it in a flattering way) was just kind of lost, or randomly felt like coming onto the beach. Those who witnessed the Elephant seal climb up on the sand and towards a beach-going family say that the massive beast eventually turned back towards the water and returned to the sea.
Which makes me think that this Elephant seal was just having a little fun, and can we blame it? If I could emerge from the water and clear out a beach like that, having it all to myself afterwards, I would probably do that from time to time too.
The family that was set up at the top of the beach goes running when the thing comes out of the water, probably worried that it could crush their family car pretty quickly if it really wanted to. I can’t imagine they were recommending this beach to any friends or family after their run-in with the gargantuan seal.
I still cannot get over how large it is comparative to its surroundings (beach huts, tents, cars), and I’m thinking that I’ve found my new favorite sea creature, as well as my “body goal” for next summer.