Talk about an earache: When a man in China went to the hospital because of severe ear pain, doctors found a live gecko curled up in his ear canal, according to news reports.
The man woke up in the morning complaining of severe pain in his ear, as well as the feeling of something squirming around in there, according to the Deccan Chronicle, a South Indian newspaper. When doctors peered inside, they spotted a live lizard.
Initially, the doctors tried to remove the gecko with tweezers, but the lizard squirmed when it was touched, the Deccan Chronicle reported. To prevent the gecko from wiggling further into the ear canal, the doctors anesthetized the reptile, and then safely removed it from the man's ear using long pliers, UPI reported on Aug. 18. The procedure took about 5 minutes.
But not all of the gecko was removed during the procedure: The Deccan Chronicle noted that the gecko appeared to be missing its tail, which the doctors could not find in the man's ear. It's possible that the lizard lost its tail before getting stuck in the man's ear canal. Some species of geckos can shed their tails as a means of self-defense, and a recently discovered species can even shed all of its scales to protect itself if a predator catches hold of it.
Geckos aren't the only unwanted visitors that have made their way into human ears; people have found spiders, fruit-fly larvae and flesh-eating worms residing in their ear canals.
This article first appeared on LiveScience.