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Hawaiian Monk Seals Getting Eels Stuck Up Their Noses, Baffling Scientists




 NOAA posted this image on Dec. 5, 2018 of a juvenile Hawaiian monk seal with a spotted eye in his nose at frigate shoals in the northwestern hawaiian islands in the past summer. (Credit: NOAA Fisheries / Brittany Dolan)

NOAA posted this image on Dec. 5, 2018 of a juvenile Hawaiian monk seal with a spotted eye in his nose at frigate shoals in the northwestern hawaiian islands in the past summer. (Credit: NOAA Fisheries / Brittany Dolan)

The Honolulu-based Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program (HMSRP), part of the United States' NOAA Fisheries Agency, posted a photo on

This undignified incident is just the latest in a long (and wriggly) line of invasions to strike the Hawaiian monk seals – a phenomenon that Hawaii's Lisianski Island. "

" Mondays … It has not been a good one for you, but it has been better than it has been, "the HMSRP joked on its Facebook

The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rare seal species in the world and is classified as endangered in the US. The majority of the population lives in a remote area of ​​the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and it was estimated that in 2016, only 1,427 animals remain.

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" The HMSRP added

Charles Littnan, the HMSRP's lead scientist, noted that they are still baffled by the phenomenon.

"This is a good It's never been seen before, "he told CNN. "Sometimes it is an amazing demonstration of intelligence or physical ability."

The NOAA has proposed two hypotheses: first, that eels launch themselves defensively at the seals while they are are foraging for food, shoving their mouths and noses into the crevices of coral reefs and under rocks.

Speaking to The Guardian, Littnan said the magician's handkerchief trick, "The Conservationist Reassured Concerned Viewers on Facebook."

30 seconds in total.

"In all cases the eel w as successfully removed and the seals were fine. The eels, however, did not make it, said the agency said on Facebook.

"What kind of heavenly

Despite the eels' successful extraction, they could pose a serious threat to the seals. The HMSRP has been found to be contaminated with microalgae and accumulates in coral reef-associated fish. Nose blockages could also be used as a seal for the nostrils when under water.

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