When things appear in places where they ought not to be, it can cause consternation.
Hence when 3,400kg of live eels were splattered across an Oregon highway, it was somewhat disquieting.
For this is exactly what occurred on Highway 101 on Thursday, leaving the road a wriggling mass of invertebrates* which began producing huge quantities of highly condensed slime made up of mucus and thread in their distress.
[*The organisms in the truck were actually hagfish –eel-shaped, slime-producing fish with a skull but confusingly no vertebral column. For the purposes of this story we shall refer to them as eels.]
According to the Oregonian the truck transporting the eels – en route to Korea where they are a delicacy - had come across unexpected construction works, losing its load and causing a five-car crash, dousing the road and nearby vehicles in copious amounts of eels and slime.
As the Oregon State Police quipped in its Facebook post “We’ve been slimed.”
Minor injuries were reported and the highway remained closed as the eels were scooped up and removed from the scene.