After backpacking through Southeast Asia, a Scottish woman found a creepy crawly remnant of her trip in the most unusual place: up her nose. The 24-year-old graduate, Daniela Liverani, experienced a series of nosebleeds she believed were triggered by a burst blood vessel from a motorbike crash aboard. It wasn’t until Liverani was having a shower last Thursday did she realize the cause of her persistent nosebleeds was from a dark-shaped 3-inch leech moving up and down her nostril.

"On Thursday, I jumped out the shower and I unsteamed the mirror and I had a proper good look, and I could see little ridges on him,” Liverani told BBC Radio Scotland. "Your initial reaction isn't to start thinking, 'Oh God, there's obviously a leech in my face.'” The graduate and her friend Jenny called NHS 24 to receive emergency treatment to remove the leech she called “Mr. Curly.”

Doctors at A&E at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary removed the parasite using a torch, forceps, and tweezers. Liverani described the procedure as agonizing while she was pinned down to the hospital bed by a nurse and Jenny. After just half an hour, “the pain stopped and the doctor had the leech in the tweezers. He was about as long as my forefinger but as fat as my thumb,” Liverani said, the Mirror reported.

The leech was suspected to have grown bigger and bigger from feeding on the backpacker’s blood. Mark Siddal, curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and an expert on leeches, believes Liverani could have picked up the leech from water in Vietnam, possibly by swimming. “Or it could have gone in through her mouth, as she was drinking water,” Siddal told the Daily Record.

This isn’t the first case of leeches mysteriously ending up in human body parts. In 2011, Tao Jiayuan, a Chinese boy who suffered from a sore throat for two months, discovered a 4-inch leech living in his windpipe. Upon removal, the doctors found the leech was still alive and unaffected by the anesthetic the boy received during the operation.

Leeches are typically found in fresh water environments, like creeks, rice fields, and ponds. In both cases, it is suspected both patients got infected with drinking the stream water.