Overturned truck of 'slime eels' transforms Oregon road into highway of nightmares – New York News

Whatever you call them – slime eels, hagfish, nightmare fuel – an Oregon highway was drenched with 7,500 pounds of the sea creatures after a five-vehicle collision Thursday.


Hagfish secrete sticky ooze when they’re attacked, startled or, apparently, catapulted from a truck into oncoming traffic.

The 3.4 tons of cargo was ultimately bound for South Korea, where the fish are a delicacy, the Oregonian reported. One person was injured in the accident on Highway 101 on the central Oregon coast.

According to a local affiliate, the truck driver slammed on his brakes while approaching a construction zone, and gravity took over, with one container striking a car in the opposite lane. “It was a mess, approximately 150 to 200 yards of roadway blocked with fish and cars,” said Senior Trooper Brian Tucker of the Oregon State Police.

The accident closed the traffic lane for hours. The driving of the truck driver is being investigated in connection with the case, a police spokeswoman told the Oregonian.

Video and photos posted by first-responders evoke a scene straight out of a horror movie: mashed up cars covered in slime, slithering hagfish desperately searching for water and roadside ditches brimming with carcasses. One video shows a small bulldozer steaming through a dense pile of fish to clear the roadway.

Despite being nicknamed “slime eel” and their eel-like shape, hagfish belong to a family of jawless fish called Agnatha. Sensor tentacles around their faces help them find food, which they attack face-first by boring a tunnel into the bodies of prey, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

Hagfish are sought by…

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