Hawaiian Monk Seal Gets Eel Stuck Up Its Nose

The pic comes courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hawaiian Monk Seal Research program.

Once revealed the seal was in good health, social media users couldn't help but poke a little fun at the "rebel" sea creature. 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.

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.

According to the team with the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, the unusual phenomenon has been seen a handful of times in the past - each with the same outcome.

"We've been intensively monitoring monk seals for four decades and in all of that time nothing like this has happened", said Charles Littnan, the lead scientist at Noaa's Hawaiian monk seal research program, to the Guardian.

'We have now found juvenile seals with eels stuck in their noses on multiple occasions.

While the poor animal didn't appear too bothered by the nosey intruder, field researchers rushed to the scene to help dislodged the eel.

Alternatively, the stuck eel could be the result of the seal, which often throws up food, regurgitating its food the wrong way.

The picture, which shows the seal looking surprisingly chill, has everyone amused. It was nearly like those magic trick scarves that keep pulling out of the hat'.

Nosy researchers are trying to understand why Hawaiian monk seals keep getting slippery eels lodged up their snouts, adding to the challenges faced by the endangered species. It is the only seal native to Hawaii and one of only two mammals endemic to the islands.

However, the agency says it has managed to save up to 30 percent of the monk seals in the current population, cutting the rate of population decline by half.

To which the NOAA basically said, "Dunno".

  • Joey Payne