Watch These Sleepy Endangered Monks Seal Napping Underwater


Look at these sleepy seals. Maybe they ate too much, or maybe they’re just exhausted from being around their family members. Regardless, these zonked-out pinnipeds are you, and me, and probably everyone else this holiday season.

By Sarah Emerson | MOTHERBOARD

What’s cool about this footage, though, is that it’s the first time Mediterranean monk seals, or Monachus monachus, have ever been recorded sleeping underwater. Scientists know the seal can hold its breath for up to 10 minutes at a time, but so little is known about the endangered species—a mere 600 individuals are believed to exist—that speculating about their snoozing habits has been prohibitively difficult.

Their closest relative, the Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi), has occasionally been known to doze off in small caves beneath the waves, but as marine biologist Alexandros Karamanlidis told New Scientist, this behavior was previously unheard of in the Mediterranean species.

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