Wild Elephant Seal Pup Crawls Onto Woman’s Lap For A Nap

seal pup photobomb

Talk about close encounters! When Lea McQuillan sat down for a break on Livingstone Island in the South Shetlands, this elephant seal decided to join her. The curious pup cuddled up and crawled into her lap before falling asleep.

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Photographer Roy Mangersnes captured the scene while hosting an Antarctic photo expedition for WildPhoto Travel. He told Rex USA that McQuillan, the ship’s hotel manager, and Helen Willcock, the ship’s doctor, had come to shore with the group to stretch their legs. When they sat down to rest, however, they were approached by the juvenile seal.

“After smelling the hand of Lea for a while he decided to use her lap as a pillow,” Mangersnes said. “It didn’t take long before he boldly climbed all the way into her lap and fell asleep on top of her.”

Mangersnes said that while people are forbidden from getting too close to Antarctic wildlife, in this case the seal initiated contact and was never a threat, despite its large size. Adult elephant seals can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh up to 8,800 pounds. Mangersnes said this youngster probably weighed between 60 and 80 kilograms (around —> Read More Here

Why Care About Astronomy?

Babak Tafreshi (TWAN), ESO Ultra HD Expedition

The Milky Way seen above the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory. Image Credit: Babak Tafreshi / ESO

I need to get something off my chest. A month or so ago I was sitting in a classroom surrounded by 10 peers. For the first time this semester we had the opportunity to spend the entire day discussing astronomy. And I was thrilled to dive into that brilliant subject, which I have adored for most of my 26 years.

But it didn’t take long before the day turned sour. Most of my classmates touched on one common theme: why should we care about astronomy when it has no practical applications? It’s a concern I have seen time and time again from students, museum guests, and readers alike.

So dear world, here is why you should care.

Read the rest of Why Care About Astronomy? (601 words)

© Shannon Hall for Universe Today, 2014. |
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