This Diver Couldn’t Figure Out What A Seal Was Trying To Tell Him When It Suddenly Grabbed His Hand

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Scuba Diving

Scuba diving gives people the opportunity to see the part of the planet that lies beneath the surface. It’s an amazing experience when the diver can see all kinds of marine life. They may even catch a glimpse of some rare majestic animals.

One diver was lucky enough to see one such animal and his buddy caught it on camera. But the seal that approached them seemed to want something from them.

A Surprising Dive


Two friends were scuba diving at the Isles of Scilly, the archipelago is off of Cornwall’s coast and most of its economy is from the production of cut flowers.

Tourists love to go to the Isles of Scilly in the U.K. and once there you can see way more than just flowers. These two scuba divers knew just where to look – underneath the water’s surface. They’d be in for once in a lifetime experience.

Beneath The Surface

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Gary Grayson loves scuba diving so he decided to take his friend with him to the Isles of Scilly to have a great day together. It’s one of the best spots for diving in the entire United Kingdom.

You can never be too sure of what you’re gonna find in the depths of the sea. There are many stories of sunken wrecks resting near the Isle of Scilly since the shorelines are tricky to navigate. This makes divers even more interested in exploring the depths.



Grayson and his friend descended into the water hoping to find something of value. They saw amazing marine life and flora, but something else ended up grabbing their attention from the icy water.

The two divers were met with great surprise when they noticed two grey seals coming out from the blackness. Other less experienced divers might panic if they saw seals approaching since they aren’t as docile as people make them out to be.

Do Nothing


When divers are taught they are told not to interfere with animals in their own environment as this would lead to danger for the diver. So Grayson and his friend did exactly what they were taught – they did nothing and tried to stay as calm as they could.

Some divers have reported seals being friendly and boisterous. While this can be true some divers have also reported that the seals they encountered were aggressive if they felt threatened. Grayson didn’t want to look like a threat to these seals.

Stay Still


The seals approached them quickly and the two divers tried their best to stay absolutely still and make no threatening moves. They both decided now was a great moment to take photos of the seals, so they both got out their waterproof cameras.

Seals love to frequent kelp forests and it so happened that the divers were right by one. They kept filming since they were curious about what the seals’ next move was. All they could do was wait.

The Unknown


Experienced nature lovers know that at times it can be unpredictable, especially since we know so little about the ocean. It’s the biggest ecosystem that we aren’t absolutely sure about. So when divers delve into the deep anything can happen.

Grayson is an experienced diver and a competent underwater videographer. But none of his prior experiences could prepare him for what would happen next.



Grayson was lucky that he had his friend there with him, he managed to film the seals the entire time. Neither of them knew how amazing this footage would turn out to be and that more than a million eyes would watch it once it hit Youtube.

The seals did something Grayson didn’t expect. They swam closer to them while they were filmed. Until the seals were almost touching the camera – Grayson couldn’t believe it.



The divers soon realized as the seals got extremely close that they were actually young pups. Grayson and his friend both gave each other a signal at the same time and they both knew how imperative it was to remain calm.

They wanted the seals to stay and in order for them to they needed to feel comfortable with the divers. The young were much less confident than any adults and would turn and run if they felt the least bit uncomfortable.



Grayson and his friend kept filming while the seals were there. Soon after they were much more friendly than before and starting dancing around them like they were entertaining the two divers.

Seals have been said to be friendly animals if not provoked and can seem fun-loving when humans are near. Seals are special since each one has its own unique personality.

Not Your Typical Dive

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Seals are normally friendly and sometimes they run off if they sense danger, so why were these seals sticking around the two divers? The divers were still careful since they couldn’t afford to make a mistake now and have to pay for it.

Both the divers had gone on many divers before now but they still didn’t know how things would turn out. They’d never gotten this close to any marine animal before, luckily they were rolling the cameras.

Just Like Puppies


The seal pups soon revealed themselves to be curious types. The more they encircled and closed in on the divers, the friendlier they seemed to become. The divers were likely relieved and excited to know it was turning out to be a positive encounter.

These seals were just like rotund water dogs. They even have adorable puppy-like eyes that lure you in to play. The divers couldn’t have predicted what would happen next.

The Closest Encounter


Grayson and his diving partner could hardly believe what was happening to them. The seals were in such close proximity, that they were fully immersed in the moment. Seals don’t typically open up so fast, as they too practice an immense amount of caution to protect their own safety.

But to the divers’ shock, the seals swam right up to them as if they wanted to become friends! It was a rare moment that everyone around the world got to witness.

Meeting A New Friend


To the divers’ surprise, the seals got so close that they started to interact too! One of the seals started nudging Grayson and it appeared as if he was trying to hold his hands.

The seal was holding out his flippers like he wanted Grayson to reach out with his own arms so they could play “Ring Around the Rosie.” Grayson did at least shake the seal’s flippers as they met face-to-face.

Letting The Seal Take The Lead


After Grayson “shook hands” with his new underwater friend, the seal held onto his arm with its flippers. Because they had never had such a close encounter like this before, Grayson and his buddy just let the seals take the lead.

They were unsure of exactly how to approach the situation since most scuba divers aren’t avid animal trainers. Instead, Grayson continued to float still while the seal continued to rub its head and neck into his arm.

It Was Odd Behavior

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Usually, when divers go out to sea with the intention of examining wildlife, they must swim for days with a pod of seals in order to gain the animals’ trust. Within that amount of time, the seals must determine if the humans pursuing them are safe to approach.

This is why Grayson and his diving partner didn’t make any sudden movements when they saw the seals. It was odd in the first place that they were being approached so soon.

A Sign Of Aggression


A seal getting that close to a human so suddenly is usually seen as a sign of aggression. Thankfully, Grayson and his buddy handled it so well that the seals ended up wanting to play! After nuzzling Grayson’s arm, the seal began play-fighting by nibbling at his suit.

Meanwhile, the other seal was comfortable enough around the humans to swim around them and mind its business. Perhaps it was looking out for its friend like Grayson’s was for him.

Exploring A New World

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These seals swam gracefully in the water, which only added to the illusion that they were content in the presence of these humans. Usually, on land, they have to waddle around on their flippers and hop onto rocks or boats. But it’s underwater where they’re truly in their element.

After seal pups are born, they spend at least four months with their mother before venturing off. Perhaps these seals had finally left the nest and we’re exploring their new world.

This Seal Didn’t Hesitate


This playful seal pup obviously went against what was expected and swarm right up to Grayson. The creature immediately started sizing the diver up but once it realized Grayson was friendly, it didn’t hesitate to see how far things would go.

There were clearly no boundaries for this seal. After the seal nibbled a little more at Grayson’s suit and kept nuzzling its head against his hand, it ended up making a move no one saw coming!

Petting Like A Puppy


Grayson realized that the seal must have liked the feeling of being nuzzled. That’s when he started scratching the seal’s neck and head, just as if he was an actual canine puppy. The seal let Grayson continue to do this for a while.

For their part, Grayson and his diving partner couldn’t believe their luck! It was certainly a diving trip that they would never forget. But what really made it unforgettable was what the seal decided to do next.

Interpreting The Signs


After the hand-to-flipper shake and the nuzzle session, the divers were unsure about how much time they had left with these majestic sea creatures. Moments like these were especially fleeting, so it was great that they were able to capture everything on film.

At any second, the seals could’ve decided to swim away but after everything that had already happened, things were apparently just getting started. The seal started making movements he wanted Grayson to interpret.

Grayson Couldn’t Figure It Out


As Grayson continued to scratch its neck, the seal kept inching closer and closer to the sea floor as if it was trying to tell him something. It continued to nibble at Grayson’s glove in an effort to get him to do what it wanted, but it was up to Grayson to figure out exactly what that was.

This went on for a few minutes until finally, the seal made everything clear.

He Finally Figured It Out


Eventually, the seal turned over on its back. At that point, it was obvious what the seal wanted Grayson to do. Apparently, Grayson’s petting skills were so excellent that this seal wanted him to rub his belly!

It was amazing that this seal was exhibiting such qualities! This would be normal behavior for your average dog or cat, but the fact that a seal likes belly rubs too only goes to show how universal the feeling is among animals.

The Seal Was Loving It


Grayson’s belly-rubbing skills were so good, that you can see the seal flapping his flipper over the diver’s hand in approval. It was a darling sight to see, especially since the seal’s flabby coat moved along with the waves.

The seal remained on its back for some time, clearly enjoying the feeling. If anything, it only made the seal more playful as he snapped back up to make another move!

He Wanted To Play Some More


After the seal decided it was done with its belly rubs, he swam back up to face Grayson. Grayson’s hand moved underneath the seal’s chin and began scratching. The seal apparently loved that too, as the video shows it smiling as it is happening.

But soon, the seal became more lively and wanted to play some more with its new friends. At that point, it began playfully nibbling at Grayson’s glove and even had his hand in its mouth!

The Second Seal


In the video, Grayson looks at his friend with a smidge of concern on his face the more the seal began biting at his hand. Luckily, the bites didn’t appear to forceful and it seemed the seal was just trying to play with him some more.

Grayson then decided to let the seal do its thing. Meanwhile, the second seal thought it was his turn to get some action and started sniffing at Grayson’s feet.

Playtime Was Over


Eventually, the first seal grew tired of the fun and games. It was obviously grateful for the belly rubs but as the diver continued to pet its coat, the seal started to swim away. At that point, it’s seal companion noticed and knew it was time to go.

The divers watched the seals swim away but were ultimately enthusiastic about the entire experience. Of course, they couldn’t have predicted how viral the encounter would become.

He Was Absolutely Loving It


Grayson’s video soon gained international buzz and of course, he was asked about the experience. He told media outlets that he was “absolutely loving it” the entire time it was happening.

“I had seen other seals in the water but they just buzzed past us. None was as inquisitive as [this seal] was, and none as friendly,” Grayson told the Manchester Evening News. The 55-year-old businessman had quite a story to tell.

“We Were In Their World”


Most people might not know how to react in such a situation, but Grayson and his buddy handled everything exactly as they should have. “We were told just to sit on the bottom of the kelp but the more still we were the more inquisitive this seal was because we were in their world,” Grayson said.

Even though they tried not to seem threatening, their stillness apparently was a source of intrigue for the seals.

“I Have Never Known Anything Like That”


For his part, Grayson admits that as a seasoned diver, he has really never had an experience quite like what he did with the seals at the Isles of Scilly that day.

“The grey seal came across and had five minutes with me, kind of thing. Then another was climbing up my leg. I’m an experienced diver but I have never known anything like that. I’ve been all over the world, to Mexico and Cuba, to dive with great big mantras and sharks,” he added.