Nicole Kidman has explained her "awkward" seal-like clapping during the Oscars ceremony last month.

The Australian star saw videos of the moment spreading across Twitter the day after the awards, with many users wondering if there was something wrong with her hands.

"Anyone see Nicole Kidman clapping? She claps like a seal. Awesome," wrote one user.

"Little known fact about Nicole Kidman – she is in fact half sea lion," another tweeted.

"Nicole Kidman doesn’t know how to clap" soon became a trending topic on various social media sites.

The 49-year-old star was also compared to The Grinch – an evil cartoon character whose fingers extend in an unusual way.

On Wednesday, Kidman gave an interview to an Australian radio show, explaining that her unusual clapping was all down to expensive jewellery.

"It was really awkward! I was like gosh, I want to clap, I don’t want to not be clapping, which would be worse, right?" she asked.

"So therefore I’m clapping but it was really difficult because I had a huge ring on that was not my own so it was absolutely gorgeous and I was terrified of damaging it.

"It’s like, is there not more important things to be focused on than the seal clap?

"They’re putting it on the big screen at Sea World with an ‘urgh, urgh, urgh’ thing – it’s just not fair!," she said, imitating a sea lion sound.

Kidman wore 119 carats worth of Harry Winston diamonds at the ceremony, including a cluster diamond ring.

(c) Sky News 2017: Nicole Kidman explains her Oscars ‘seal clapping’ was to protect a ring