You thought your commute was bad?
July 14, 2017 12:34 PM   Subscribe

Overturned truck of "slime eels" transforms Oregon road into highway of nightmares.
posted by tocts (83 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 


I feel it is irresponsible to comment without even clicking the links. But ... oh hell no.
posted by mcduff at 12:39 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Hagfish look a lot like really big earthworms. That gives a whole new meaning to the word "clickbait".
posted by Autumnheart at 12:44 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


If you haven't looked at the photos, you might be thinking, "How much slime could there be?" The answer is "More than you would think possible."
posted by Rock Steady at 12:45 PM on July 14 [29 favorites]


I see it was indeed a Prius. Does anyone know if it was the gas, hybrid, or eelectric kind?
posted by Slackermagee at 12:45 PM on July 14 [20 favorites]


The FAQ that brennen put in the first comment should have been the post.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:45 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


Sharknado tried to warn us.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:47 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


So much nope. SO MUCH.
posted by deezil at 12:48 PM on July 14




Clearly this was a major inconvenience for a lot of motorists, but would eels on the highway stop a hovercraft?
posted by asperity at 12:50 PM on July 14 [18 favorites]


"Isn’t a Prius being crushed and slimed by a truck full of hagfish a metaphor for 2017 or something?"

"Probably."

posted by Captain_Science at 12:50 PM on July 14 [10 favorites]


I've only seen one photo of this so far and I'm going to try to keep it this way. Something about that particular kind of slime triggers abject revulsion in me that's deeply uncomfortable, and I'm not particularly squeamish about most things. This one apparently hits me right in a uniquely sensitive spot reserved for other people's spit and phlegm and maybe very rotten food. Possibly mixed together.
posted by loquacious at 12:52 PM on July 14


From what I could see (I'm not unblocking ads for nobody nohow), I mainly feel sorry for the eels.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:56 PM on July 14 [27 favorites]


S'not funny...
posted by jim in austin at 12:59 PM on July 14 [7 favorites]


The textures are Giger, but the daylight makes it more Cronenberg
posted by bendybendy at 1:00 PM on July 14 [13 favorites]


And now I'm super sad for all those eels. Like, seriously, completely bummed out.
posted by cooker girl at 1:02 PM on July 14 [32 favorites]


Something about that particular kind of slime triggers abject revulsion in me

It reminds me of nattō, except eelier.
posted by aubilenon at 1:07 PM on July 14 [14 favorites]


One of the best descriptions of hagfish in literature is in "Polar Star" by Martin Cruz Smith. The disgraced detective, Arkady Renko, introduced in Smiths's earlier book "Gorky Park" is now working on the slime line processing the catch on a fishing trawler in the Bering Sea when the body of a female crew member who has been murdered is found in a net full of freshly caught fish. Arkady is required to investigate her death because of his previous experience in investigation.

There is an on-board autopsy and a hagfish is found inside the woman's body. The scene is wonderfully macabre if you like that sort of thing... The doctor doing the autopsy definitely didn't. Hagfish are scavengers. If they find a dead fish on the sea bed they will cover it in slime to keep other scavengers from competing with it for the food source, but they will also eat their larger fish from the inside out but wriggling their way inside of a fish's cloaca and they will do this to living fish if they have an opportunity, such as when the fish are caught in a net.
posted by Jane the Brown at 1:11 PM on July 14 [9 favorites]


they will also eat their larger fish from the inside out but wriggling their way inside of a fish's cloaca and they will do this to living fish

And they say thalassophobia is irrational.
posted by bonehead at 1:13 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]


TIL there are trucks full of slime eels on our highways
posted by chavenet at 1:13 PM on July 14 [26 favorites]


I mean do you just dispose of the truck after hauling a load? I don't know how you'd ever fully wash it out.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:16 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]


I don't mind eels
Except as meals
And the way they feels.

(Actually, I love unagi.... or I used to. :( )
posted by The otter lady at 1:17 PM on July 14 [6 favorites]


And now I'm super sad for all those eels. Like, seriously, completely bummed out.

TRUE FACT hagfish exist solely to be karmic punishment vessels so rest assured they did something in a past life to deserve it
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:19 PM on July 14 [22 favorites]


yeah I kind of literally feel a little sick and cry-ish. not because there's a whole bunch of eels on the road. but because there's a whole bunch of eels dying slowly on the road.

regret :/

i am a delicate soul
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 1:20 PM on July 14 [13 favorites]




I too am bummed for the eels. It's a funny/gross circumstance until you think that they slimed up the road because of a panic reaction. Awww. :( Not that going off to be hagfish salad in Korea was necessarily a kinder fate. And clearly living in the Upper Midwest has yet another advantage--no slime eel tsunamis coming to a road near me.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:21 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


Don't forget that hagfish slime can be used as an egg replacement

Actually, I plan to forget that as soon as humanly possible.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:22 PM on July 14 [58 favorites]


And now I'm super sad for all those eels. Like, seriously, completely bummed out.

Look on the bright side: there will be a lot of happy carrion birds.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:23 PM on July 14 [10 favorites]


"they will also eat their larger fish from the inside out but wriggling their way inside of a fish's cloaca and they will do this to living fish"

I have just discovered the urge to cross-breed hagfish with candiru. Off to go see about getting a degree in biology or something, maybe check Craigslist for a 'idea man needed at mad scientist lab' posting.

hagdiru

canfish

I dunno, it doesn't really pop. Let's kick it over to Marketing and get back to work on the growth rate estimates.
posted by komara at 1:24 PM on July 14 [7 favorites]


Please don't let the producers of Sharknado get wind of this.
posted by Ber at 1:25 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I still don't understand how you can just write the words "eel truck" like that's a real thing and we're all going along with it like "yeah, eel trucks are actual things we have in this world" and we're all fine with that. I'm not fine with it.
posted by zachlipton at 1:26 PM on July 14 [16 favorites]


Oh God said to Abraham, “Make unagi, son”
Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
Well Abe says, “Where do you want this eelin’ done?”
God says, “Out on Highway 101”

posted by cortex at 1:27 PM on July 14 [43 favorites]


TIL there are trucks full of slime eels on our highways

Eels on Wheels.

Or, in this case, under them.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:32 PM on July 14 [20 favorites]


I saw a news video earlier where the reporter on location started their segment with "The smell of the Pacific Ocean is a bit stronger around here today..." I'd call that an understatement.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:35 PM on July 14


Oh, the hagfish, has such slime, dear
And they keep it, out of sight
The truck jacknifed, on the road, babe
And they spewed it, pearly white

posted by Greg_Ace at 1:40 PM on July 14 [16 favorites]


The thing is, all the stuff that people eat is objectively equally weird. We're a bunch of weird creatures living on a planet in outer space and eating other weird creatures with bizarre jointed appendages and bristly body coverings and so on. Your hand is a weird starfish thing with oozy stuff in it; objectively there's nothing horrifying about a slime eel that isn't also horrifying about your hand. You're just personally more used to the idea of your hand. It would be impossible to explain to an alien why a cow is cute but a hagfish isn't; there's no real grounds for it.

That said, they can put the eels back on the truck and finish taking them wherever they were going, 'cause I don't want none.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 1:42 PM on July 14 [8 favorites]


You're just personally more used to the idea of your hand.

Fair point, but driving into the aftermath of a truck spilling a load of human hands on the highway would be pretty gross, too.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:44 PM on July 14 [23 favorites]


Does anyone have a comparison reference for the alleged hagfish aftertaste?
posted by Selena777 at 1:54 PM on July 14






These hagfish apparently have a branding problem.. I suggest "Oregon Inshore Whitefish" and Charlie Tuna-ish cartoon mascot as a start..
posted by Captain Chesapeake at 2:09 PM on July 14 [9 favorites]


Also from Oregon DOT:

Night #InterstateBridge lifts planned for annual cable-greasing on Friday, July 14

COINCIDENCE!?!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:13 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


.
posted by FirstMateKate at 2:17 PM on July 14


I doubt we'll sleep tonight because...#eels

"Can't sleep...eel will slime me..."
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:25 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


...Charlie Tuna-ish cartoon mascot as a start.

Maybe something like this?
posted by Wolfdog at 2:28 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


car bukkake
posted by indubitable at 2:30 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


The slime looks kinda sexy actually
posted by polymodus at 2:32 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Rule 34...paging Rule 34...
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:39 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


This is just to say
I have spilled
the eels
that were in
the eel truck
posted by mudpuppie at 2:46 PM on July 14 [13 favorites]


There once was a truckload of eels
That ended up caught in the wheels
Of afternoon traffic
It was really quite graphic
And got some people right in the feels
posted by dephlogisticated at 2:52 PM on July 14 [25 favorites]


i am eel

and day or nite

wen truk i in

no stay uprite

and it spil out

it eely load

i go to work

i slyme the road
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:52 PM on July 14 [91 favorites]


Seen elsewhere:

You picked some fine slime to leave there, loose eels.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:53 PM on July 14 [47 favorites]


OK. How would a self-driving car react to *this*? I have questions.

(Can you imagine being the programmer(s) assigned to work on the hagfish-slime in the road problem. Would it be similar to spilled oil or something general like "large amount of items spilled on road"? Imagine!)
posted by barchan at 2:57 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


A thematically related musical interlude from The Mighty Boosh. (Warning: squick, probably NSFW.)
posted by mordax at 3:10 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I don't know what I was expecting,but that was worse.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:18 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Sadly, asperity beat me to the hovercraft is full of eels reference. I actually once played in a game session where in fact, there was a hovercraft full of eels. Because there was a hovercraft, and it was transporting stuff, and the GM agreed that in fact, it must be eels when we pointed out the deficiency.
posted by tavella at 3:32 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Rule 34...paging Rule 34...

Would be a variant of hentai, no?
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 3:34 PM on July 14


Even being reminded that hagfish exist sends me to a dark place.

I've often wondered how much of a role they play in whale beachings.
posted by jamjam at 3:43 PM on July 14


...ultimately bound for Korea, where the fish are a delicacy

Ima stop readin' rite thar, Charlie.

The poem by It's Never Lurgi and the quote by NoxAeternum are why I read threads like this.


You picked some fine slime to leave there, loose eels.

You've left me a Prius that's lost all it's wheels.


Crap. Now I have an ear... worm.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:49 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


They left out the important detail of the number of drivers who were hollowed out by eels allowing for a mass escape in the confusion. The really sad thing is that hollowed out meat puppets controlled by a mass of eels are better drivers than most humans.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:55 PM on July 14 [13 favorites]


Nobody's even mentioned the worst part of that hagfish FAQ: [potentially disturbing image]
posted by moonmilk at 4:01 PM on July 14 [9 favorites]


I've often wondered how much of a role they play in whale beachings.

They're timid scavengers, so they probably don't get anywhere near live whales. They do love dead whales, though. Whale carcasses are one of the places you can reliably find hagfish congregating. They gradually chew their way through the corpse until there's nothing left but bones, then move on.
posted by dephlogisticated at 4:34 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I missed seeing all this / being stuck behind it by about twenty minutes. Super pleased to have missed that accident!
posted by ugf at 4:39 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


loose eels

I can hear the entire Arrested Development writers' room furiously typing rewrites from here.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:49 PM on July 14 [9 favorites]


For the last ten years, I have lived about 50 yards from Highway 101, albeit in Central California, about 800 miles south of the accident. Long before that, I grew up in a house in suburban L.A. about 100 yards from the 101 almost 200 miles farther south. So I have a personal connection to Highway 101 and I feel ... well, personally slimed.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:37 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


How many of you have ever felt personally slimed by these eels?
posted by zachlipton at 5:47 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Dear Hivemind,

I spilled 7,500 pounds of slime eels all over the highway. Can I still eat them?
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 6:05 PM on July 14 [10 favorites]


I've often wondered how much of a role they play in whale beachings.

They're timid scavengers, so they probably don't get anywhere near live whales.

Not necessarily:
hagfish can feed upon and often even enter and eviscerate the bodies of dead and dying/injured sea creatures much larger than themselves. They are known to devour their prey from the inside.[19]
...

In captivity, hagfish are observed to use the overhand-knot behavior "in reverse" (tail-to-head) to assist them in gaining mechanical advantage to pull out chunks of flesh from carrion fish or cetaceans, eventually making an opening to permit entry to the interior of the body cavity of larger carcasses. A healthy larger sea creature likely would be able to outfight or outswim this sort of assault.
[emphasis added]
I'd like to think it's a very rare occurrence, but I'd bet they can and do make their way into the bodies of injured or even merely stunned whales.
posted by jamjam at 6:20 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I can hear the entire Arrested Development writers' room furiously typing rewrites from here.

"The money is in the eel truck."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:54 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]




Now think about all the trucks moving weird shit around that we don't think about because they haven't crashed. Yet.
posted by biogeo at 9:01 PM on July 14 [10 favorites]


They need to make car dashboards out of live hagfish so when you have a wreck their slime instantly fills the interior of the vehicle and safeguards the occupants.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:08 AM on July 15 [10 favorites]


They need to make car dashboards out of live hagfish so when you have a wreck their slime instantly fills the interior of the vehicle and safeguards the occupants.

Possibly a better idea than the current tactic of using deteriorating rocket propellant to fire shrapnel at them.
posted by oheso at 2:10 AM on July 15 [6 favorites]


If you don't like eels, if they give you nightmares, then you probably want to be careful about reading The Tin Drum. Don't say I didn't warn you.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 2:29 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


My dad had a new place just below Annapolis on Chesapeake Bay and I don't remember if it was the Shad or the Spot running that day but my sister and her friend were catching lots of them when I got out to the end of the dock and hooked a 30 inch eel. They are a bit vigorous when you are expecting a 3 ounce fish. All muscle twisting. None of us knew there were eels in the bay until I started pulling it out. I wasn't letting go of the rod but I wasn't going to let that thing up on the dock either. They went for help. My dad had a net, a notched board, a hammer and pliers and he put the line through the notch, nailed its slimy head to the board and skinned it and took it back to the house chuckling about his good fortune like a seaside troll.

That was a mandatory visit. Amy came with us often because it was better than what she was going through. Her presence protects us so we have a deal and she asks if that is going to be dinner or breakfast and I think breakfast. Dinner was already planned so eat a lot of dinner. Maybe we just catch crabs now? We could go back in the house and watch golf. Crabs they say.

So dad and stepmom are upset that we don't want the circles of slime. I don't want to break solidarity but I sneak one piece and it's good. They just want to get in the car with our cooler full of fish and crabs and pretend eels do not exist.

Amy's Grandfather is one of the heroes in our story and we would like to surprise him so we set up an assembly line in his kitchen for the fish fry and we have the crabs going and corn and potatoes and the loaves and the fishes and he gets home and says he sees good things happening and just sits after saying so.

A water snake attacked Jim so we just started fishing for crabs. He looks at me and I say eel.

I know neither of them ever fished again.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:08 AM on July 15 [3 favorites]


This needs to go up on the white board of every autonomous vehicle researcher, what would a google car do?
posted by sammyo at 6:47 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


Hagfish are incredibly bad ass.
posted by liliillliil at 2:49 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]




hottt
posted by indubitable at 6:12 PM on July 15


Hagfish slime all the roads! All travel shall be by slime-luge.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:42 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


I imagine for something like that you'd need a 4-eel-drive vehicle.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:37 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


You just know that lonely fishing villages through history have had long, rich traditions of hagfish pranks.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:12 AM on July 16 [4 favorites]


I imagine for something like that you'd need a 4-eel-drive vehicle.

It's best to transport loose hagfish in some sort of all-tureen vehicle.
posted by cortex at 7:50 AM on July 16 [4 favorites]


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