Something sucked its face off

This is a little unsavory, but I’m damn curious if anyone out there can explain this to me. During my morning constitutional, after me and the dog had made it some two and a half miles down the coast, a foul and putrid smell knocked me off my stride. I searched upwind and saw a beached carcass lying some ways away.

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I’m kinda the curious type, maybe even morbidly curious, so we went in for a closer look. It had the coloring of a sea-lion, but more the shape of a seal. The smell was pretty, well, bad. I was gratified that my doggy didn’t try to eat it. We angled around for another view, and that’s when I saw the weird part:

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Something sucked its face off. A rather grizzly skull poked out of the gaping hole of its fleshy neck. This seemed really weird. Head, eyes, brain, all gone. The skull was picked dry while the rest of the carcass looked damaged, but not at all consumed.

What gives? Is that normal? Does anyone have an explanation? I know that when salmon run themselves up on creek beds in vast numbers, bears and wolves will eat the head and leave the body, wasting much of the fish when there is overwhelming bounty to consume. But in those situations, the head is just gone.

Nothing crunched or devoured the skull of this ill-fated seal thing, the skull was intact but the face was gone.

I thought this was sufficiently creepy to merit a post so close to Halloween.

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17 thoughts on “Something sucked its face off

  1. Very creepy. No explanations coming from me. That’s just plain weird.

    Jaynova might be on to something. Isn’t that the usual explanation for this sort of thing?

  2. Pingback: Halloween » Something sucked its face off

  3. bleh! i’m thinkin Lazy Buddhist has it right. Aliens. It’s gotta be the aliens.
    i’m still not getting over the probes and stuff from when… no wait, wrong end.
    Ok, i change my vote. A northwest version of the Chupacabra.

  4. 13 comments and nobody hit the obvious? Zombies. Duh. Perhaps even zombie sea lions. I hope you didn’t get infected by the zombie virus or you will be the one sucking off faces and devouring brains next.

    Fortunately, I have been planning for a zombie outbreak for many years. I have already devised my method of survival. Sounds like it is time to start putting things in motion.

    Step one: Drive SUV to body shop for armor plating and cattle guard augmentation.

  5. Obviously an attempt by the seal to get out of doing its homework… “I can’t do it because aliens/goats/zombies sucked my face off (oh yeah, and I’m dead)!”

  6. As I often put myself on active carrion watch, I can tell you that this is not an unusual scene. Skulls are often exposed. You might take note that there isn’t as much flesh between skin and bone on the facial region, and thus during the natural course of rot it may be one of the first bones to become visible. Also, as the seal has been exposed to the sea, sand and coastal wind, this process could be quickened. Take note that the outer hide of the seal is also missing from other regions of it’s body, not only the face. Scavengers who may have trouble opening a hide all by their lonesome selves may go for softer features of the face, such as the eyes or tongue. Focusing on these areas may cause tearing. On a large bloated carcass, the face may also be easier to get ones mouth around. This beach may also be frequented by humans whose very presence will keep many scavengers at bay. Maybe even a curious human or domestic dog saw a lose piece of skin and yanked away at it. Any number of events could have transpired, all of them likely natural. It’s only meat and bone afterall.

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