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Video: Monstrous Elephant Seal Charges Family on Beach 

The bad news: According to this footage, sea monsters are definitely real. The good news: They’re not nearly as speedy as you may have been led to believe.

In July 2022, a woman spotted something while enjoying an afternoon at Coyote Beach in Baja California Sur, Mexico. She took a few steps closer and turned on her phone to capture it. The thing turned out to be an enormous elephant seal that had just come to shore. At the time, it was just lying in the surf. She didn’t expect it to charge.

A few seconds into the video, the beached elephant seal surprises the family when it suddenly begins to wobble forward.

“It’s moving—it’s moving!” the videographer warns in Spanish. The seal picks up speed as its front flippers touch sand. Just up the beach, two kids are sitting in lawn chairs. The seal heads straight for them.

They notice and leap to their feet. “Run!” they shout, again in Spanish, as they get up from their chairs and bolt. Fortunately, the seal’s charge only lasts a few seconds. Once it’s up on the beach, it stops—leaving some onlookers to catch their breaths from running, and others from laughing way too hard. 

While seals don’t normally rampage around beaches, they are naturally curious and do occasionally wander places they shouldn’t. And elephant seals in particular are capable of causing serious damage if they put their minds to it. Adult males can weigh up to 5,000 pounds, and are known to seriously injure other seals during territorial fights. On rare occasions, they also attack humans.

The most well-known case of this took place in California. There, an elephant seal named Nibbles took to chasing people and even bit a surfer. Locals had to learn to give Nibbles a wide berth.

Fortunately, though, most elephant seals keep to themselves. If you find yourself sharing a beach with one, we recommend you do the same. 

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