In the waters off Vancouver Island, a scuba diver exploring marine life experienced a once-in-a-lifetime encounter when a giant octopus wrapped itself around her head.

Natasha Dickinson was doing research with her diving partner, Jackie Hildering, off the coast of Port Hardy, B.C., when the pair got up close and personal with a giant Pacific octopus.

“It was fantastic, to actually be looking into her,” Dickinson recounted.

Watching in awe, Hildering jumped into action and start snapping photos with her camera.

At first, Hildering was concerned for her diving buddy, but then saw that both Dickinson and the octopus were not afraid.

Hildering documented the encounter on her blog, The Marine Detective, in the hopes of educating people about the often misunderstood predator.

“So what to do when you find a giant Pacific octopus on your dive buddy’s head? Observe, marvel, take some photos, share and maybe it can help dispel some of the mythology and vilification about these fabulous marine neighbours,” Hildering wrote.

The experienced diving pair believes in observing, not touching, the marine life that they encounter underwater.

Hildering said any negative encounters between giant Pacific octopuses and humans that she’s aware of, generally involved divers manhandling them, or “insisting” on an encounter.