Your continued existence in this world is in many ways determined by how fortunately things break for you in the aftermath of a mistake. Some people step into traffic while looking at their phone and escape with nothing more than the particular fright that results from an unseen car coming to a screeching halt. Some people don’t escape.

What I’m trying to say is that we are all pretty much constantly (if inadvertently) doing what we can to destroy ourselves, which is why I ask for your sympathy for this dolphin, who attempted to swallow a whole octopus and then got choked to death by the beast.

Photo credit: John Symons/Marine Mammal Science

According to Nahiid Stephens, a marine pathologist who authored a study on this tragic circumstance, the dolphin—his name was Gilligan—perished when the octopus wrapped one of its tentacles around his larynx. She told National Geographic that Gilligan “seems to have been extremely greedy and thought, ‘You know what, I’m going to swallow it whole.’”

Look at poor Gilligan’s eye. That’s the look of a creature that, in a moment of sheer suffering and panic, understood that the coin had finally flipped the wrong way. Coulda been you!

[National Geographic]