DEPOE BAY, Ore. (AP) — A truck hauling eels overturned on an Oregon highway, turning the coastal road into a slimy mess.
Oregon State Police on Thursday posted a photo on Twitter that showed damaged cars covered by the gooey eels. The agency also posed the question: “What to tell the #drycleaner?”
Meanwhile, the Depoe Bay Fire Department posted a video of workers using a bulldozer to clear the eels from Highway 101.
Police said Salvatore Tragale was driving north with 13 containers holding 7,500 pounds (3,402 kilograms) of hagfish, which are commonly known as slime eels. The Oregonian reports that the eels were on the way to Korea, where they are a delicacy.
As Tragale approached road construction and tried to stop, one container flew off the truck bed and into the southbound lane, while the other containers spilled onto the highway, police said.
The flying container hit one vehicle which then caused it and four other vehicles to be pushed into each other. Police said the people in the vehicle hit by the container suffered minor injuries. No one else was injured.
When hagfish become stressed, they secrete a slime, which can be seen in the photos on the vehicles and on the highway, police said.
The road reopened after the bulldozing and hosing it off was completed Thursday afternoon.
The fire department said no one was injured in the crash. The road had been reduced to one lane Thursday afternoon for the cleanup.
A single hagfish eel can turn a five-gallon bucket of seawater into a gooey pool within moments, the Associated Press reported in 2007. And here’s a little factoid from the hagfish Wikipedia page:
“… the inshore hagfish, found in the Northwest Pacific, is valued as food in Korea. The hagfish is kept alive and irritated by rattling its container with a stick, prompting it to produce slime in large quantities. This slime is used in a similar manner as egg whites in various forms of cookery in the region.”
Here’s some nightmare-fuel from the Smithsonian Channel: