7,500 pounds of ‘slime eels’ spilled on Oregon highway


In today’s episode of Ridiculous News Items That Seem Fake But Aren’t, we bring you slime eels. More specifically, 7,500 pounds of slime eels that spilled all over a highway on the Oregon coastline, ruining people’s days and appetites (and, presumably, costing some eel purveyor a lot of money).

This slimy situation all began when a truck carrying nearly four tons of the eels overturned after a crash. According to Oregon state police, the truck was heading north on the highway when a construction worker attempted to stop traffic to complete road work. Unfortunately, the truck driver was unable to slow his vehicle in time and it overturned… and that’s how four tons of slimy eels spilled all over the highway.

According to the police, one of the containers in the truck that was carrying the eels flew across the road. The other containers simply separated from the truck bed and spilled out onto the highway and surrounding cars. On top of that, the flatbed of the truck completely separated from the frame.

Oh, and that flying container? It caused a chain reaction crash on the other side of the highway, pushing four cars into each other. Thankfully, only one person suffered minor injuries. Everyone else was probably just extremely grossed out.

“It was a mess, approximately 150-200 yards of roadway blocked with fish and cars,” said Senior Trooper Brian Tucker with Oregon State Police.

And to make things even grosser (did you think that was possible? I didn’t!) the eels actually aren’t even eels. They’re called Pacific hagfish, a primitive fish that looks more like a worm than anything, and they secrete a slimy mucous-like substance when stressed or scared.

Here’s a close-up of the creatures:

pacific hagfish photo
Flickr | NOAA Photo Library

Isn’t mother nature special? These delectable creatures were supposed to be shipped to Korea, where they would eventually become dinner.

“It was just a mess of fish coming down the highway, there were a lot of people… it was quite a chaotic event when we first arrived,” said Lt. Eric Leonard of Depoe Bay Fire.

I think I’m going to steer clear of seafood for awhile.


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About the Author
Jessica Suss
Current high-school English teacher, native Chicagoan, and nut butter enthusiast moonlighting as a writer.

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