A Hawaiian monk seal with an eel coming out of its nose?
All of the seals that we have encountered in this slippery situation have been quickly caught by our response teams and the eel gently and successfully removed.
Earlier this week, officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program shared a photo showing a juvenile Hawaiian monk seal with a long eel stuck in its nostril.
Researchers first spotted a seal with an eel nasal appendage in the summer of 2016, emailing colleagues who initially thought it was a joke.
According to the team with the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, the odd phenomenon has been seen a handful of times in the past - each with the same outcome.
A monk seal in Hawaii was photographed with an eel stuck up its nose - and you're going to be obsessed with it.
Apparently the seals were fine but the eels didn't make it, unfortunately.
An image of one such dummy was surfaced Monday on the Facebook page for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, which monitors the endangered population of these seals. "We don't know if this is just some unusual statistical anomaly or something we will see more of in the future".
Scientists believe the eels may be getting stuck as they try to defend themselves or escape.
Hawaiian monk seals forage by shoving their mouth and nose into the crevasses of coral reefs, under rocks, or into the sand, he said, in search of prey that like to hide, such as eels.
One theory is that seals, which often regurgitate their meals, are simply throwing up eels through their noses.
Good news, though, at least for the seal.
Officials estimate only about 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals remain in the wild, most of which are found near the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
The program answered the question: "We don't know".
NOAA reports all of the eel-huffing seals have shown no ill effects from their fish-sniffing experiments. "One of them was really far in so it was like a magician's handkerchief trick, we just had to keep pulling and pulling".