They’re not exactly beautiful or cuddly, and honestly, they freak a lot of people out, but eels are truly one of the most amazing creatures of the sea.
Eels are special to the alternative crowd, those electric folks who spend their time among nooks and crannies, waiting to pounce and strike when something juicy floats by.
Eels swim the waters—both saline and fresh—around the world. The giant moray eel can stretch up to thirteen feet in length and the European conger can weigh as heavy as 240 lbs. They can swim both backwards and forwards. Preferred eel habitats range from burrowing in the sand and mud to rocky caves. Most hunt by night.
The blood of eels is toxic and even fatal to humans and other mammals. It was used by Noble Prize winner Charles Robert Richet to research anaphylaxis.
People around the world enjoy eel in their cuisine. In Hong Kong, eel prices often rise past $130/kg and have gone as high as five times that sum. Jellied and fried eel has long been popular throughout Europe. In New Zealand, the longfin feel is a specialty of Maori cuisine.
On the island of Huahine in French Polynesia, the locals deem the eels that swim in the inland streams sacred. They stretch up to six feet long.
Whatever the source of your love of eels, they make an awesome tattoo.