Gross! Eel-Like Fish Are Falling Falling From The Sky In Alaska

In probably the grossest and most horrifying news likely to be written about at the Inquisitr this week, it seems that eel-like fish have been falling from the sky in and around Fairbanks, Alaska, the Huffington Post is reporting.

They’re not actually eels, though. Depending on whom you ask, they’re much worse: lampreys — ugly, parasitic fish with round, jawless mouths filled with teeth that attach onto their hosts and drain the blood and bodily fluids.

So far, at least four reports have come in of the eel-like fish falling from the sky. Sue Valdrow, owner of a Fairbanks thrift store, said two customers saw one wiggling on the ground in the store’s parking lot, according to CNN.

“Two gentleman came in and asked if we have a bucket with water because there’s an eel in your parking lot.”

Valdrow put the foot-long fish — her specimen was the only one found alive, so far — in a bucket of water and called Alaska’s Fish and Game authorities.

“I wasn’t sure what to do when lampreys fall from the sky. I’ve lived in Alaska for 12 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Mike Taras of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game insists that the eel-like fish are not falling from the sky because of sorcery, climate change, or anomalies in the space-time continuum. The reality is far more mundane: they’re being dropped by birds, who scooped them up from a nearby river and, likely realizing that they’re disgusting, dropped them.

On its Facebook page, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game explains what is happening.

“Gulls are picking them out of the Chena River with their bills and then dropping the squirming critters while in flight.
Arctic lampreys spawn in the Chena River, and live in the mud underwater as juveniles for several years. However, many lifelong Alaskans have never seen one of these fascinating fish up close because their body shape and feeding habits make them difficult to catch.”

If you do catch one of the eel-like fish, consider yourself lucky, especially if it’s been attached to a salmon: arctic lampreys that feed off salmon develop a delicate, fatty flavor that’s considered a seasonal delicacy in Alaska.

Braised Arctic Lamprey

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is asking anyone who finds a fallen eel-like fish to report it to a local office.

[Images courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons, Shutterstock/Andrey Starostin]