As I ate eel for lunch today, I found myself wondering what eels themselves ate. Plants, probably. Maybe seaweed.
Wrong. I should have known better. After all, eels are basically the snakes of the sea, and snakes eat more than plants. Snakes are carnivores and eels are, too; they consume microscopic creatures called plankton. Yes, the humble garden eel and the majestic blue whale eat the same thing.
Unlike the blue whale, eels don’t flow through the water, swallowing water and mourning beautifully. They burrow into the bottom of the ocean and then flicker back and forth looking suspiciously like innocent plants, lying in wait for their victims. Someone please make a movie about a person who goes for a casual dip in the cold, clear water and ends up being nibbled alive by eels. For example:
Once I started my eel investigation, I somehow ended up on a YouTube autoplay of eel videos. They’re mesmerizing, yet disgusting, creatures. I invite you to join me in admiring the dance of the eels in more detail. Look how they ripple! Look how there’s that one tiny eel in the corner who has almost his (his? who knows) entire body burrowed underground with only his head showing, as if he’s just given up.
But wait, there’s more! Eels don’t just bob all the time. When eels are bored waiting for plankton to come around, they apparently enjoy fighting each other:
And, for the bloodthirsty among us, here’s a guide on how to catch one yourself.
Takeaway: eels are deceptive, but delicious.