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"Kissing" Laguna Beach Sea Lion Release Video Explodes on the Internet

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center's video of a weekend release has gone big-time viral.

The ocean release on Saturday of two of their elephant seal patients, Skylar and Sunset, was pretty typical—the cage doors were opened on the beach sand, the pair of pinnipeds waddled out, and off they went, back to the ocean where they came from.

At one point, though, just before they hit the surf, Skylar turned back around to Sunset (or ... did Sunset turn back to Skylar? Sorry, all elephant seals look alike to us), who was straggling behind, and the two touched noses. Humans being humans, of course, some people watching interpreted this as a kiss (do elephant seals even have lips?).

All of this was captured on video by PMMC volunteer JoAnn Smith and posted on the Center's Facebook page. From there, the scene of allegedly smooching seals went viral—as of Tuesday afternoon, the minute-long clip has received 65,115 views on YouTube, and counting. Pretty impressive, since most of the PMMC's marine mammal release videos usually hover in the 150-300 hit range.

"It really pleases me that we're getting a lot of press off it," Smith tells Laguna Beach Patch. "Anything where we can get people to know more about us works for me. I'm happy to see people enjoying the video."

But ... are Skylar and Sunset really on the verge of totally making out in the clip? Smith isn't so sure.

"Our animals don't always do that, but many times, with elephant seals, they will, but not until they're out at sea. I have no idea why they touch noses."

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