Seagull Pinches Woman's Sandwich, Ruins Instagram Moment

If you ever find yourself in the U.S. state of Maine, hold onto your lobster roll.

Alicia Jessop has always dreamt of tucking into the local delicacy -- which is essentially cold lobster stuffed into a warm bun -- while looking out at the idyllic coastline.

But she wasn't the only one with her eyes on the prize.

The sports law professor from California was leaving a work conference in Vermont when she decided on an impromptu road trip to Maine.

Alicia Jessop documented her first lobster roll experience on Twitter

A few hours later, she found herself in a parking lot by the water with a lighthouse in view and a US$21.50 roll in hand.

"A true millennial, I realised I was in the midst of the perfect Instagram moment," Jessop wrote on her newly launched website.

As she lined up the shot, a seagull swooped in and snatched her sandwich. Jessop said it happened in an instant.

"A quick, feisty, fearless seagull ... not only encroached my space, but so rapidly tossed the prized lobster meat out of the roll for his friends to chow down on that it was apparent he’d done this before," she said.

All that was left was a single photo capturing the exact moment the gull swooped. Jessop posted the photo on Twitter -- and it blew up.

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Jessop's tweet has been shared 27,000 times, as her seagull encounter made international headlines.

She said she is "okay" with making hundreds of thousands of people laugh across the globe.

"I had no idea it would go viral, be picked up by news outlets and be shared bay people of all backgrounds and beliefs," she said.

"Laughter remains the best medicine. I hope my accidental photograph brings you a smile."

Featured image: Twitter via Alicia Jessop