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Unlikely Encounter With Puffer Fish Delights Paddleboarder

A paddleboarder was recently surprised to find a spot-fin porcupine fish way out of its territory in Dana Point, California.

The encounter, recorded by Bill Clements, shows him paddling toward the fish and picking it up in his hands.

Clements told Storyful that he realized the critter was a “puffer fish of some sort” when he noticed the spikes around its body. He said that he was surprised as the species are typically found in tropical areas.

“I tried to release it back into the water calmly so that it would deflate and swim away but it remained all puffed up and eventually swam clumsily away,” Clements said.

He told Storyful that he later identified the fish as a porcupine fish, recognizable because of its white belly speckled with black dots, and said that he notified the Ocean Institute of the discovery. Credit: @paddlegoat via Storyful

Video transcript

BILL CLEMENTS: [CHUCKLES]

Is that a puffer fish? What is that? Oh, my God. Oh, my God, look at this guy. Look at this guy right here! It's a puffer fish! Hello, puffer fish. Hello, puffer fish. Hey, buddy.

It's OK. It's OK. Hey. Hey, it's OK. It's OK. It's OK, buddy. Hey. Hey, buddy. Hey. It's OK, buddy. Come on, buddy, it's OK. It's OK, buddy. Oh. Oh. It's OK.

It's OK, go ahead. Go down to your normal size. Go back down to your normal size. Hey, buddy. It's OK. It's OK, it's OK. It's OK. It's OK.

[CHUCKLES]

It's OK, little guy. It's OK.