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Seal and Diver Share Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience During Ocean Dive!

Sherry Rucherman

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When it comes to the ocean, there are two types of people. You either love the depths of the ocean and all the wondrous beauty that lives in the water, or you are terrified of it. No matter which category you find yourself in, you’ll want to keep on reading! Today, we are going to introduce you to diver Gary Grayson and the life-changing encounter that he had with an adorable seal. If you were interested in the ocean before, after this story you are going to be obsessed!

Wondrous Story of the Ocean

Today, we are going to be donning a digital wetsuit in order to explore the deep blue sea. We are going to be joining a group of divers, led by Gary Grayson, as they navigated the waters off of the Isles of Scilly, located in southwest England just off the coast of Cornwall. 

Exploring the Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly are located just off of the tip of Cornwall in England. An archipelago with multiple islands, the Isles of Scilly is comprised of five total islands and a handful of small islets. The waters surrounding the Isles of Scilly are known for being a haven of natural ocean wonder. As you’ll soon find out, a diving expedition off of the Isles of Scilly can be quite a lifechanging experience!

Seeing the Ocean Up Close

Gary Grayson came to the Isles of Scilly by way of Worsley, England. Grayson and his pals had gone on a vacation in order to explore the region. They wanted to take time during their trip in order to go scuba diving. While Gary and his friends were expecting to see wildlife, they didn’t know what to expect during their adventure. 

What Could They Find Down There

Even though Gary was excited to take in the natural wonders lurking below the ocean’s surface, he was also interested in seeing if they could locate a shipwreck. According to research performed by UNESCO, there are an estimated 3 million total shipwrecks spread throughout the ocean. A few famous shipwrecks include the Titanic, the fleet of Kublai Khan, and the Spanish galleons that had sailed between Spain and America.

Different Kind of Adventure

While many divers set their sights on hidden treasure, others like to focus on interacting with the local wildlife. For that reason, many people end up going to the Isle of Scilly in order to dive with the seals. Seal diving is incredibly popular in the region, though you had better go diving with a professional in order to ensure your safety. Remember, you are diving into potentially dangerous waters! Your safety isn’t going to be guaranteed.

Making Friends Beneath the Surface

Even though Gary and his friends had hoped to catch sight of some sunken treasure, they were ecstatic to be greeted by something quite different! After leaving their boat, Gary and his team came upon a couple of wild seals. Right away, Gary could tell that something was different about their interaction. We’ll get more into that soon.

Seals Aren’t Always Nice

Even though seals are adorable, we have to remind everyone that they are wild animals. Wild animals don’t behave by human standards. They don’t follow rules and their space should be respected. If a wild seal swims up to you, you had better think twice before engaging. Every seasoned diver will tell you to leave wild animals well-enough alone.

Seals ARE Wild Animals After All

While Gary knew that he shouldn’t engage with the seals, they were behaving in an exceptionally friendly manner. In fact, as the two seals drew closer to Gary and his friends, they began to notice something quite odd. The seals seemed like they wanted the attention of the divers! What could this mean?

Staying Calm During the Encounter

As the two seals approached Gary, the divers did their best in order to stay calm. Any outward expression of nervousness could end up signaling a threat to the seals. The last thing that Gary wanted to do was startle a wild animal while he was in their natural habitat. Still, Gary made sure to get his camera rolling and for that reason, we have these stunning photographs!

Navigating Potential Danger

The ocean is the largest ecosystem on the planet. While humans have adapted to being in the water thanks to our technology, we are not natural members of that ecosystem. As a result, any time that we place ourselves in the ocean, we are putting ourselves in harm’s way. Even though Gary Grayson was a seasoned wildlife videographer, he was still unprepared for the event playing out before him.

Gary Kept the Camera Rolling

Even though Gary didn’t know WHAT to do, he knew he had to capture it all on camera. Gary had shot video of wild animals all around the world. Now, he was getting his chance to capture some stunning footage in a situation that few other divers would ever get to experience.

They Were Seal Pups

Remember how we thought the seals looked a little odd? Well, as the animals swam closer to Gary and his friends, they came to a sudden realization. The seals weren’t just small, they were young! Gary and his friends had stumbled across a pair of young seals who were as curious as they were nervous. 

The Seals Are Incredibly Friendly

Even though young seals are supposed to be incredibly skittish, these animals didn’t shy away from Gary. Instead, they slowly got closer and closer. Pretty soon, Gary was able to see their eyes and feel their snouts as they brushed against him. They weren’t afraid at all even though he had been told that seal cubs were extraordinarily skittish.

A New Type of Situation

Before long, the seals were swimming between the divers in order to greet them all. The seal cubs were behaving like young puppies that were desperate for some extra attention. Gary knew that the seals were being playful, but he also realized that he couldn’t let his guard down. One wrong move could send the whole experience shattering to the ocean floor.

Behaving Like Young Puppies

The seals continued to circle Gary and his friend as they became more and more relaxed. The seals grew increasingly brave and before they knew it, they were face to face with the creatures. Gary noted during this experience that the seals totally were acting like ‘water dogs’, right down to their puppy eyes and pokey whiskers.

Is This Really Happening?

As Gary and his friend grew more comfortable with the water dogs, they began to pay attention to little details that they hadn’t noticed before. While the seals had been taking turns swimming beside them, they had also been sending a signal. Gary couldn’t believe what was going on in front of him.

Did We Just Become Best Friends

Wild seals are notoriously flakey when it comes to remaining in the presence of humans. As an animal always on the run from massive predators, we guess it is understandable that the seals wouldn’t want to be too friendly. For that reason, Gary’s experience was made all the more fascinating. The seals would reach out with their flipper in order to try to hold or touch Gary. They weren’t swimming away. They were playing together!

Noticing A Stunning Pattern

As their time together lengthened, Gary began noticing a pattern. Every time that he would pull away from the seal, the creature would reach out with his flippers in order to keep him close. Fearing an inadvertent scare, Gary decided to let the seal lead the dance during their wordless conversation. A few moments later, the seal was using Gary’s hand to pet himself!

Humans and Nature Interacting

Whenever you see animals and humans interacting in the wild, you have to be careful. It only takes one wrong move for a pleasant encounter to turn into a dangerous one. With that being said, it was impossible for Gary to ignore how friendly the seals were being. They were rapidly gaining the trust of the animals in a way that seemed almost unbelievable!

Understanding the Seal’s ‘Aggression’ 

As Gary let the seal lead the dance, he noticed that it would gently bite his palm. Now, seals can be incredibly dangerous when they sink their teeth into something, but that wasn’t the case here. Instead, the seal was gently holding Gary’s hand as if it wanted to give him comfort or even ask him for something. The second seal lingered back, watching on with round eyes.

Graceful in the Water

When a seal is underwater, it can appear graceful even with its odd shape. Outside of the water, seals look intimidating and vaguely funny. Their little waddle on land can hide the fact that seals typically have no problem becoming aggression. If you see a seal sunbathing on a beach, let the animal be!

A Misunderstood Creature

When seals are still in their pup stage, they tend to stick close by their mother. In fact, newborn seal pups will stay for around four months with their mother before daring to swim off for their own adventures. That meant that Gary was either in the presence of curious seals on their first adventure or an angry mother was lurking nearby.

Why Was the Seal So Outgoing

Thankfully for Gary, the seals weren’t in the presence of their mother, as far as he could tell. Instead, the seals seemed genuinely curious. It was likely that they were on one of their first trips around the water without their mother by their side. Talk about getting lucky, right?

Behaving Like the Family Dog

Fortunately for Gary, the two seals were at an age where they would be learning to explore on their own. Gary and the seals began to enjoy closer interactions, culminating in Gary petting the seal as if it were his own dog. It was when Gary went to rub the seal again that something amazing happened.

The Encounter Winds to an End

In nature, most encounters between a human and a wild animal will be brief. For Gary and the seals, the encounter seemed to stretch on and on. Shockingly, the seals didn’t run for the hills soon after initiating their meeting. Still, Gary started to steel himself for the departure of the beautiful creatures.

Only The Seal Isn’t Finished

Only instead of winding down, the seal did something that was impossible to believe. As Gary continued to rub the seal on its head and back, the seal crept closer and closer to the ocean floor. The seal continued to guide Gary’s hand toward the ground. Gary and his diving companion couldn’t understand what was going on. Was the seal just being a little goofy? 

A Stunning Revelation

Once the seal reached the ocean floor it abruptly rolled over onto its back. Instead of letting Gary pull his hand away, the seal instead pushed his hand onto his belly. As it turned out, the seal wanted some belly rubs. If you were to dream up this exact situation, we would have told you that it was impossible!

Reveling in the Pats

As the action clicked inside of Gary’s head, he began to rub the seal’s round little belly. Just like a dog or cat, seals like having their belly rubbed or scratched from time to time. Can you imagine jumping into the ocean with your friends only to spend your time scratching the belly of a massive seal? That’s definitely a special experience.

A Few Chin Scratches For Good Measure

If you get the chance to watch the video from Gary’s excursion, you’ll notice how ‘into’ the experience the seal got. In fact, after Gary began to scratch at the seal’s stomach, its eyes began to relax just like you would expect from your dog. It really was true! Seals are the dogs of the ocean.

Gentle Nibbles of Appreciation

After a moment, Gary realized that the seal wanted something else from him. Gary stopped rubbing the seal’s belly and as he did so, the seal pushed its chin into his hand. That’s right, the seal wanted chin scratches as well! What’s more, the seal was so relaxed that it appeared to be smiling.

Gary Waves Goodbye

While Gary was busy petting one of the seals, the second seal had begun to circle around Gary’s feet. The second seal was far more skittish than the first animal, though it warmed up as their interaction lengthened. By the end of the excursion, the second seal was all bout curled up at Gary’s feet.

Gary’s Video Goes Viral!

There are countless shared experiences between man and animal every single day. The vast majority of these experiences are not captured on camera, especially high-definition footage. Thankfully, Gary uploaded the video of his meeting onto the internet and the clip quickly went viral. Grayson was featured on YouTube before getting interviewed on the Manchester Evening News. Gary would reveal during the interview that other seals had passed them by but that these two cubs were incredibly curious.

Chance of a Lifetime

Gary went on to reveal that he had been trained to sit in the kelp in order to be more welcoming to potential seal cubs. Gary said in his interview, “The more still we were, the more inquisitive this seal was because we were in their world.” Gary and his friend also mentioned that it was vital that they stayed calm during the meeting.

Remembering the Encounter

While Gary had plenty of experience as a diver, he had never planned on encountering an animal like that. Gary went on to say, “I’m an experienced diver but I have never known anything like that.” Gary went on to describe how he had been everywhere from Mexico to Cuba, and he had swum with giant mantras and sharks, yet no experience had stuck with him like this one.

Would You Like To Meet a Seal

While it is impossible to guarantee that your experience will be similar to Grayson’s, diving with the seals is entirely possible. The Isles of Scilly offer extensive chaperoned diving experiences that visitors can pursue. Of course, there are plenty of other places to go diving with the seals. Research diving teams local to the ocean near you!

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Animals

A Pit Bull Who Had Ten Puppies

Leslie Tander

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On average, dogs will have litters of around five puppies. If the litter has more than six puppies, than it’s officially a litter that’s larger than the statistical average for almost any dog breed. Some dog breeds can handle comparatively large litters. 

Pit bulls are certainly large and powerful dogs. Some of the biggest dogs ever found have been pit bulls specifically. While most pit bulls will still only have individual litters of just five puppies, some of them can actually have litters that are twice that size. The pit bull that arrived at the Blackdog All Breed Dog Rescue certainly falls into that category.

The shelter is located in Chicago, and the staff members are used to helping a wide range of different dogs. They have certainly worked with pit bulls who didn’t have homes. Certainly, some of the dogs that they have rescued in the past have been pregnant. However, they’re not usually as hugely pregnant as this pit bull was. 

This pit bull was already very close to giving birth entirely. Fortunately, the staff members at this dog rescue center were able to give her the help that she certainly needed at this point.

The pit bull is called Bonnie, and she isn’t much more than one year old. She was actually quite thin otherwise, which can be the case for pregnant dogs. It might mean that she wasn’t able to get a lot of food during the pregnancy. She may also have been overly active throughout that pregnancy. Of course, given the sheer size of the litter that she was carrying, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it may have been difficult for her to get all of the food that she would have needed. 

When Bonnie arrived, the staff members at the dog rescue gave her a sonogram right away, since they needed to know how large her litter was going to be, making things clearer. Knowing those sorts of details in advance can help with the delivery process. 

However, most sonograms are not as surprising as this one was. 

Sonograms show images of skeletons, and there was several of them in this image. It seemed as if there were just too many to count at first. 

Fortunately, Bonnie was going to have ten puppies. Having a much larger litter might have been risky for her. Even in that situation, the veterinarian and the staff members were concerned about her health. 

Underweight dogs can sometimes face risks when giving birth, and Bonnie certainly qualified as thin. Still, having access to great veterinary care is what matters the most, and Bonnie had that going for her.

After only a few more days, Bonnie was able to give birth, and she did so successfully. Her ten puppies were all healthy. Bonnie clearly loves all of them, and gives them plenty of attention all the time. 

Bonnie has actually had puppies before on one occasion. She will not have a litter after this one, since she has since been spayed. Dogs who have had several litters still don’t usually have as many little puppies as Bonnie probably has. Her first litter may have been just as large as this one was.

Now, Bonnie has a forever family herself, which should only make her story that much happier. She’ll never have such difficult circumstances again, and neither will any of her ten little children.

Of course, her sonogram may be remembered forever. It has been shared virally, with people all around the world commenting on it. Cats and dogs become very famous on the Internet all the time, and not always like this. 

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Animals

Magawa the Rat is a Hero

Mackenzie Freeman

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When people think of heroic animals, they typically imagine dogs. They might think of cats or horses on occasion, but dogs tend to be regarded as the most heroic animals. These are animals that humanity has been training for thousands of years by this point. They’re also smart and social, and they’re good at responding to various problems. 

Of course, cats and horses have also been trained by humans for a while. It’s easier to train cats than a lot of people think, and these are certainly animals who have helped with different emergencies. Horses have warned humans about fires and other issues. Still, it’s hard to compete with dogs, who are regularly used by search and rescue teams to help people.

Rats still have a fairly negative reputation, although it has improved somewhat over the years. Most of the heroic rats that people know are purely fictional at this point. The little rat Magawa may change things for all rats.

Magawa is in Cambodia, and is a giant pouched rat. This gives him a very distinctive appearance. Undetonated land mines are a huge threat worldwide, and Magawa is actually helping to clear them. If fact, he’s managed to do so a total of thirty-nine times, which would be impressive for anyone. He’s done so over the course of five years at this point.

APOPO is a non-profit organization that specializes in using animals to be part of a team that locates land mines. These animals can also detect tuberculosis, which kills a lot of people worldwide. Many animals have the sorts of sharp senses that humans tend to lack, at least compared with many species. They can use these senses to locate different sources of infection all around the world.

Magawa has certainly been able to do so, and he is finally starting to be recognized for all of his great efforts. People online are now familiar with him, so it is not just the non-profit professionals who are aware of all of the rat’s hard work. 

Land mines have killed countless people all around the world. In Cambodia, sixty-four thousand people have died from them, at least. Exploding land mines have also caused forty thousand people to lose their limbs. 

It seems miraculous that it is even possible for something like this to happen. However, it is important for people to not underestimate the sense of smell that a lot of animals have, including Magawa. 

Land mines are formed using certain very distinct chemicals. Magawa is actually able to smell these chemicals himself. He has been trained to go back to his human handlers when he has pinpointed the location of an undiscovered land mine by using this method. At that point, the land mine has officially been detected. It can be removed and eliminated safely from that point onward. 

Magawa is able to move at a very quick rate, since rats are fast in general. These sorts of rats can also get around hazardous scrap metal, which would be more of a problem for humans. 

It takes this little rat around a half an hour to get through with searching around an area that is as big as a tennis court, which is an impressive rate. It only took around nine months to train this little rat, demonstrating how efficient it is to use a rate for something like this in the first place. 

Magawa deserves all of the recognition that he has already received, and that he shall surely receive over the course of his life. He is able to save thousands of lives this way. 

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Animals

A Frozen Food Brand Helps a Large Cat Get a Home

Leslie Tander

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Fans of Garfield may already think of cats when they think of lasagna. The idea that a cat would like lasagna more than regular cat food may have seemed surprising years ago. Lots of cat owners are used to giving their cats and dogs leftovers from the table, even though it isn’t healthy to do so. 

Plenty of cats are picky eaters, and it’s difficult to find a type of cat food that they will like. Other cats will seemingly eat anything that their owners get for them. They’ll nibble on different parts of the lasagna. Cats are natural carnivores, and they’ll probably just pick at the lasagna if it has enough meat in it. Of course, some cats might surprise people with what they’ll eat. 

‘Lasagna’ is also the name of a cat who has now become famous online. She weighs in at a good twenty-nine pounds. The average cat weighs about ten pounds, and not usually more than seven pounds. Lasagna is certainly a big cat, and she has the sorts of markings that a lot of people would associate with Garfield.

She has a striking combination of orange and brown stripes, and very large eyes. Some people might think of her as being a sort of genuine version of Garfield. Sadly, she was left abandoned when cat rescue workers found her. She was in an old dog crate at the time. This was in Philadelphia, near a nice animal shelter called ACCT Philly.  

Usually, the cats that have short fur do not have a difficult time grooming themselves, but this was not the case for poor Lasagna. Cats her size will sometimes struggle with this activity. Lasagna was also a nearly immobile cat who could not walk or move easily. 

Lasagna has a lot of terrible medical problems now. Being unable to move will automatically cause health problems, since physically activity is very important for members of all species. The animals that are healthier at larger weights are usually very physically active. Lasagna had gotten to the point where this was no longer possible for her, so she also could not truly care for herself. 

Cats who are larger can still often get adopted, but a lot of people are nervous about adopting a cat that has health problems. Many people are just not able to care for a cat who has unique medical needs. Pets already require a lot of attention and care, and this is certainly true for disabled pets. 

While cats are popular, dogs have been the most popular pets for a while. People might not guess that if they spend a lot of time online, where cat videos seem to be everywhere. However, when it comes to actual pet ownership, it seems that dogs still win. This seemed to have been another strike against Lasagna.

Of course, the fact that people on the Internet love cats so much has probably managed to help Lasagna. The ACCT Philly staff members just had to post a nice picture of the cat Lasagna on a social media website, and the picture got viral attention.

The Stouffer’s brand of frozen food actually got involved. If Lasagna had a slightly different name, it’s possible that this company would not have heard of her at all. The connection between these keywords may have been enough. Now, they’re more or less helping to promote the cat themselves. 

They’re sending Lasagna their best wishes, and saying that anyone who gives Lasagna a home will be sent some lasagna. 

It all worked, and the cat Lasagna has now been adopted for real. 

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