What a fantastic experience seeing this Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) blowing bubbles at me!
Troy Neale a marine mammal expert at the Vancouver Aquarium commented about Steller sea lion bubble blowing …
“I know we’ve looked at this as a posturing/ aggressive behavior typically. I have seen videos from divers and other under water footage where it really looks like it would be a scar tactic for them. I have often seen that they do it when they’re startled as well which again goes to fear and aggression. It could certainly also be a playful behavior. Different animals seem to perceive things differently like people do so what might be scary to one animal may be a fun toy for another.”
Steller sea lions have been recorded diving to depths of 1148 feet (350 metres) in search of food and remain submerged for around five minutes. The Steller sea lion is the world’s largest sea lion and males can reach lengths of almost 10 feet (3 metres), and weigh 1760 pounds (800 kilograms). Their range extends from the California coast up to the Bearing Strait, and also includes the coastal areas of Japan and Asia.