On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program posted to its Facebook page a photo of a juvenile monk seal with what appears to be a spotted eel in its nose.
No, it's not a tongue-twister for your office Christmas party, it's something that's actually been happening in Hawaii.
Endangered Hawaiian monk seals are facing a odd new threat, on top of the usual challenges from disease and becoming caught in fishing nets. "In all cases the eel was successfully removed and the seals were fine".
According to the final post in this saga, researchers were able to trap the seal and extract a 60cm-long goddamn eel from its nose, noting that it "was surprising as only about 10cm were hanging out" of its nose before extraction. "In nearly 40 years of monitoring, we have actually never observed this until a few years ago", Littnan said.
Shine on, you insane eel-huffing seal diamonds. So, they go for the food, like eels, whose strategy is to hide.
Oddly, it seems to always be in the right nostril, but "I don't really think that means anything", Littnan told Live Science. "We don't know if this is just some odd statistical anomaly or something we will see more of in the future".
As to how the eel gets stuck, Littnan has several ideas. Have you ever seen a face that said "guess this is my life now lol" more than that stupid seal's stupid face? NOAA said Hawaiian monk seals forage by "shoving their mouth and nose into the crevasses of coral reefs, under rocks, or into the sand".
Fortunately, no harm to the seals was observed.
They also suggested that the seals could have swallowed the eels and regurgitated it, causing the eels to come out the wrong way. Now the beleaguered species is facing an unexpected new challenge - eels getting stuck up their noses.
'We have now found juvenile seals with eels stuck in their noses on multiple occasions. "The eels, however, did not make it".
Officials estimate only about 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals remain in the wild, most of which are found near the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
Once revealed the seal was in good health, social media users couldn't help but poke a little fun at the "rebel" sea creature.
The picture, which shows the seal looking surprisingly chill, has everyone amused.
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