By Ben Walley
This is the touching moment a seal cuddles up to a diver under the ocean – with the pair instantly becoming best friends.
John Dornellas, 34, from Florida, USA, was videoing himself in the sea when a curious seal stole the lime light.
The marine mammal can be seen snuggling up to John in the ocean by San Clemente, California.
The interaction between the seal and John is heart-warming, as the seal can be seen nuzzling up to his face and hugging him with its flippers.
John, who is a free diver, spearfishing instructor and also videographer, had never encountered a seal so up close and personal before.
His video that he uploaded on his Instagram called ‘ibreathewater’ has since had nearly 3000 views, with watchers bewildered by the miraculous friendship formed between a human and sea animal.
John said: “On that day I was in a great mood. I was relaxed and happy, when suddenly this seal pup sure wanted to be friends!
“It was the best interaction I’ve ever experienced with a seal, I had never seen anything like that!
“I’ve been in the water with plenty of seals, but none as curious or relaxed with my presence as this one.
“Seals are pretty curious. So as long as they don’t become territorial with the diver or aggressive in search of a free meal attached to the end of a spear.
“They will often come and check a diver out to see what they’re doing.”
John claims after he finished filming, during his swim back to his boat, he was relentlessly approached and hugged by the seal.
He added: “The whole swim back to the boat I was constantly approached and hugged by the seal!
“I personally think he acted like this towards me because humans are made of mostly water, the ocean is water, and all animals in the ocean are mostly made of water.
“This creates a unique bond between humans and animals alike.
“The connection felt between living beings underwater is far greater than that what can be felt above the surface.”