Perhaps, he said, a cornered eel decided that the only way to escape or defend itself was to swim up its attacker’s nostril, and young seals who are “not very adept at getting their food yet” were forced to learn a tough lesson.
But Littnan said that theory doesn’t make much sense.
“They’re really quite long eels, and their diameter is probably close to what it would be for a nasal passage,” he said.
‘Make better choices’: Endangered Hawaiian monk seals keep getting eels stuck up their noses and scientists want them to stop
“This could end up being one of those little oddities and mysteries of our careers that 40 years from now, we’ll be retired and still questioning quite how this happened,” one monk seal expert said.
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