Man Lets Ocean Shrimp Clean His Teeth

p_seligmon / Instagram

Patrick Seligman had a very special relationship with a small Pacific cleaner shrimp off the coast of Hawaii. He shared a couple of videos showing just how close the two got.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Patrick Seligman (@p_seligmon)

“[She] definitely feels like a familiar friend,” Seligman said. “And it’s also fun to take advantage of a naturally occurring symbiotic relationship.”

Underwater cameras filmed the sea creature coming out of her home in the coral reef to swim towards Patrick to perform one of her incredible cleaning talents.

Pacific cleaner shrimp are colorful and got their name from their eagerness to nibble parasites and dead skin off of other animals, or humans who come close to their “cleaning stations.”

One day, Patrick said he was swimming along a reef when he found the colorful shrimp nestled safely in the nook of the rocks. He started filming the fascinating creature.

“They are pretty common on the reefs in Hawaii, but not all of them are willing to interact with humans,” Seligman told The Dodo.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Patrick Seligman (@p_seligmon)

He had just watched the shrimp clean a visiting eel and it appeared it was looking for more parasites to eat and Patrick had an idea.

To see what would happen, Patrick swam up close to the shrimp and removed his breathing apparatus, opened his mouth, and as if it was planned, the little shrimp swam right up to him. It entered Patrick’s mouth and went directly for his teeth and started cleaning them.

Patrick said this didn’t happen just one time…but over the next year, he continued to dive at the same reef and the shrimp would swim up to him every time he opened his mouth and cleaned his teeth.

Patrick would even bring friends sometimes and the shrimp would also clean their teeth too.

“We dove there about once or twice a week,” Patrick said. “It’s definitely fun to stop there for the teeth cleaning, especially with friends who had never seen it before. I think frequent visits to your local cleaner shrimp are an excellent way to maintain your dental hygiene.”

Sadly, after about a year when a major storm happened, Patrick swam back to see if the shrimp was there and found that his cleaning friend had left her station and most likely moved on to practice her skills elsewhere on the reef.

Watch Footage Of The Shrimp Cleaning Teeth Below

Want to save this article?

Get this sent to your inbox, plus, get new articles & videos from us every week!

Sponsors / Partners

Interested in becoming a partner?

Contact us for more info

Unapologetically Country

Receive daily updates with the best country music videos, news, and more!