A backpacker returned from a lengthy vacation in Southeast Asia only to discover a three-inch leech had been living inside her nose for a month, undetected.
Daniela Liverani, a 24-year-old from Edinburgh in Scotland, had been having nosebleeds for weeks, according to the BBC, but she figured they were caused by a burst blood vessel from a recent motorcycle crash.
She didn’t discover the true source until last Thursday while she was showering. She felt the creature wriggling around, thanks to the steam opening up her nasal passages, so she jumped out of the shower and checked her nostrils in the mirror.
Liverani then went to the hospital, where the staff used forceps and tweezers to remove the parasite.
Liverani believes she picked up her tiny travelling partner in either Vietnam or Cambodia, but she denied its existence, even as she felt it moving up and down her nostril.
“Your initial reaction isn’t to start thinking, oh God, there’s obviously a leech in my face,” she told BBC Radio Scotland.
After doctors removed the leech, Liverani took the parasite, which she dubbed “Mr. Curly,” home for the night. He didn’t live to see the light of another day.
“He’s in an Edinburgh City Council bin,” said Ms Liverani. “He’s probably long gone by now. I boiled him first.”