Man am I glad I wasn’t involved in this! Police in Oregon were in a slimy situation on Thursday after a truck carrying 7,500 pounds of live hagfish failed to stop at a construction site and spilled its contents onto the highway and over surrounding cars. The container hit a vehicle and triggered a four-car pileup. Then the container’s wriggling contents sloshed onto some of the vehicles involved in the crash. Although no humans sustained major injuries in the crash, there were a high number of hagfish casualties. Pacific hagfish, also known as slime eel or snot snake, are considered one of the most disgusting animals in the ocean, per Smithsonian Magazine. Although they look similar to eels, they are actually a fish that has no jaws or bones. Hagfish still have two rows of tooth-like keratin which they use to burrow deep into carcasses to eat their meals from the inside out.
When distressed, the fish produces a white, sticky slime all over its body. This allows the hagfish to slip away when predators attempt to eat it, leaving behind a gulp of goo. Marine scientist Andrew David Thaler wrote on his blog that a single hagfish is capable of filling a five-gallon bucket with slime “seemingly instantly.”
Read an article about the accident below.