Cute Seals Does Something Weird When He Gets Mad

Just a regular old seal ... whose head happens to be inflatable.

Ok, so technically, it's not actually the hooded seal's head that blows up. It's actually some loose skin on its forehead, which makes a lot more sense given its name.


When the hooded seal gets angry, the membrane inflates. This is common when two males compete for the same female, as was demonstrated in this 2012 video posted on YouTube by National Geographic.

You can literally watch a hooded seal's temper flaring.


Considering that the males can weigh up to 900 pounds, hooded seals never really want to get into an actual fight. There's no reason to spend a ton of energy when you can just put on a great show.  The victor gets the female.

After the "fight", the seals deflate and return to being gentle giants ...


... until the next girl is up for grabs!


This isn't their only talent, however. Hooded seals can also dive to depths of 3,200 feet in frigid water and remain there for up to an hour.

Unfortunately, the hooded seal is at great risk. The estimated world population of the hooded seal is only around 650,000, and they are listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Usually found in the northern Atlantic, the population of the hooded seal is dropping. 

The ICUN found that while northwest Atlantic populations were essentially stable, "the northeast Atlantic stock has declined by 85 to 90 percent over the last 40 to 60 years."


The animals are prized for their pelts by hunters. The youths, known as "bluebacks," are also hunted for their skin.

Russia and Norway both allow hooded seal hunts in the spring. According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, which regulates Canada's annual seal hunt, 8,200 hooded seals are set to be killed this year alone.


Even more seals die every year by becoming ensnared in fishing nets. 


For the hooded seal to be reduced to just the value of its pelt is simply tragic. It is a majestic animal known for enduring extreme conditions and its adept swimming skills, and yes, also for its peculiar, inflatable head-balloon.

Too bad we can't solve all our problems by puffing our heads out!


Check out this unique behavior in the video below.

Be sure to SHARE this with all the animal lovers you know.

H/T: The Dodo | NatGeoWild

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