A monk seal was spotted with an eel dangling from is nose.
The Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program has shared images of the creatures in what looks like an uncomfortable predicament. The eels, however, did not make it'.
We have now found juvenile seals with eels stuck in their noses on multiple occasions.
Monk seals nose around in coral reefs, root around in the sand, and flip over 50-lb.
'We have reported on this phenomenon before which was first noted a few years back, ' the HMSRP wrote in a Facebook post. While the unfortunate, recently photographed seal was doing this, an eel could have, in a case of self-defense, "rammed itself into the nostril and maybe got stuck", Littnan said.
"What is interesting that in the almost 40 years we have been monitoring and conserving we have only started seeing this in the last few years", he said in an e-mail. "We don't know if this is just some odd statistical anomaly or something we will see more of in the future", the NOAA wrote.
The agency has two theories on why it happened in this case: A cornered eel was trying to defend itself or escape, and wound up in the seal's nose.
Another possibility is that the seal downed the eel and then regurgitated it up the wrong way, much like that time you snorted out milk when your friend told you an unexpected joke. "We might not ever know". But the eel may have gotten deeper into the nose, preventing the seal from removing the invader.
NOAA reports all of the eel-huffing seals have shown no ill effects from their fish-sniffing experiments.
Hawaiian monk seals are among the most endangered seals on the planet, with only about 1,400 of them living in Hawaii.
There are only an estimated 632 mature Hawaiian monk seals left in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.