Do you mind? A juvenile Hawaiian Monk Seal with an eel up its nose.
It's one thing to get something stuck up your nose, it's a whole other story when you've got nothing but a set of flippers to try and get it out.
If that had been the case with this seal, the animal probably could have gotten rid of the eel on its own by shaking its head around.
It's the question on everyone's lips at the moment - just why do seals keep getting eels stuck up their noses? 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. They are looking for prey that likes to hide, like eels.
To which the NOAA basically said, "Dunno".
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. "We don't know if this is just some unusual statistical anomaly or something we will see more of in the future". Since this phenomenon has been observed only in juvenile seals, Littnan said it could also just be that the seals are inexperienced at hunting.
A juvenile Hawaiian Monk Seal found itself in a spot of bother earlier this week when a sizeable eel became lodged in its nose. The seals were all fine, but the eels did not make it, according to the scientists' post.
The phenomena could cause potential problems for the seals in terms of infections or even by affecting their ability to dive and feed on marine creatures.
NOAA reports all of the eel-huffing seals have shown no ill effects from their fish-sniffing experiments. Or, the seal regurgitated it and it went out the wrong place.
'If you come across a Hawaiian monk seal mom and pup, please stay quiet and enjoy them from a distance, remaining behind any signs or barriers that might be present'.