Regardless, we're happy to hear this sweet, vaguely irritated monk seal has been returned to its normal, eel-less state.
Apparently, eels getting stuck in seals noses happens occasionally, but no one is certain as to why.
"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.
A monk seal spotted with eel stuck up its nose in Hawaii. NOAA says of the slippery phenomenon, which has been recorded several times.
"Mondays...it might not have been a good one for you, but it had to have been better than an eel in your nose", the agency said in a Facebook post.
The administration said it has seen the same "eels in noses" phenomenon almost a handful of times in the last few years. So, they go for the food, like eels, whose strategy is to hide.
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The response teams have been able to successfully remove all eels from the affected seals. "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 eels, however, did not make it", writes marine biologist Brittany Dolan in the Facebook post.
One theory is that seals, which often regurgitate their meals, are simply throwing up eels through their noses.
"Hawaiian monk seals forage by shoving their mouth and nose into the crevasses of coral reefs, under rocks, or into the sand".
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. "This may be a case of an eel that was cornered trying to defend itself or escape".
Let us know what you think of the pic using the comments section below. The shot shows a sleepy seal staring at the camera while lounging on the French Frigate Shoals in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. As the Guardian reports, this incident is just the latest in a line of eels-in-nose incidents that have baffled scientists.