Meet the smiling photobombing seal
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A diver got the perfect picture after a super-cute smiling seal photobombed his underwater snap.
Alex Mustard, 37, spotted the inquisitive pup off the coast of Northumberland during a diving trip.
He was swarmed with the loveable pups within minutes of jumping into the chilly waters earlier this month.
But this particular grey seal took a shine to Alex - who quickly grabbed his underwater camera to take a picture just as his new pal smirked over his shoulder.
And judging by the size of his smile and gentle pat on the back, Alex's handiwork has been given the seal of approval.
Alex, an underwater photographer from Southampton, told Barcroft Media: "It was an absolutely unforgettable experience.
"In all my years of doing my job I've never seen such a happy chap.
"I took this picture within the first minute of going underwater.
"It was actually our second dive of the day. On the first the seals were not that interested so we tried another spot about a mile away and they were all over us, desperate to play from the first minute we were in the water.
"This one was just playing with me, gently chewing on the rubber of my diving hood, so I turned my camera on myself and fire off this shot."
Alex had taken a 20-minute boat ride to dive and photograph seals just off the coast of the Farne Islands, visible from the Northumberland coast.
But he almost went home after his first dive flopped without a seal in sight.
It was only after deciding to find another location to dive that he encountered the curious seal pup and his family.
Alex had only managed to dive five metres beneath the surface when the playful pup came tearing up to him.
He added: "They are just like curious puppies and when they want to play you don't really have a choice. But despite being powerful predators, I have never felt threatened.
"Seals swim about 100 times fast and better than any person - so these encounters are always on their terms.
"They are such humorous animals. If you laugh or smile underwater your face wrinkles up which makes your face mask leak and cold water floods in and up your nose.
"When I'm diving and seals are around this happens a lot!"
Source: Barcroft Media
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