On Jan. 23, an Oregon woman ended up in the emergency room with a snake stuck in her pierced earlobe.
Ashley Glawe of Portland is the proud owner of a Ball Python snake named Bart, reports the Daily Mail.
Glawe's "gauged" earlobes (the procedure involves stretching the piercing to a see-through hole) proved irresistible for Bart, who decided one day to stick his head through one of the holes.
Unfortunately, the hole was not large enough for the snake, who got stuck there. When it became apparent that Bart could not safely be removed from her earlobe, the owner and her pet reptile headed for the hospital.
While waiting to see the doctor, Glawe passed the time by taking a few pictures of herself with Bart stuck through her ear and posting them on Facebook, where they were soon shared hundreds of times.
In a caption she wrote: "BY FAR one of my CRAZIEST life moments! Went to the Emergency Room because my Ball Python decided to get STUCK in my gauged earlobe! It all happened SO fast that before I even knew what was going on it was already too late."
Although the attending doctor had probably never removed a snake from an ear, the procedure was successful. "They numbed up my ear and used string to pull and stretch it out more so that they could get him out without hurting him," explained Glawe in the comments of her post.
According to sociologist Victoria Pitts-Taylor of the City University of New York, gauging has become increasingly popular in recent years, reports the BBC.
In her book "In the Flesh: the Cultural Politics of Body Modification," Pitts-Taylor explains that Western interest in gauging began in the 1980s and 1990s with the "modern primitives" movement, with its desire to show solidarity with other indigenous and tribal cultures.