In 2017 ago as reported by Nationalgraphics.com, a container truck loaded with thousands of kilograms of Hagfish spilled onto the streets, causing severe traffic jams. At that time, the road was filled with fish squirming with mucus so thick that the road was so slippery that it took the firefighters 7 hours to clean it.
Well, if you know catfish or eels as the slickest animal, then you are wrong, apparently there is an ancient animal that is much slicker, namely the hagfish. Then, what are the unique facts about this one animal? Read more!
1. Animals produce the most mucus in the world
This animal is unique in producing a lot of mucus when feeling stressed and threatened by predators.
It is quite impossible for a predator to conquer this animal easily because in addition to having a flexible body. Hagfish will continuously release a large supply of slime. The mucus contains substances such as mucus cells and thread cells, which are enough to make predators choke and have difficulty breathing, making it easier for them to escape.
Although it has a body and ability similar to an eel, in producing mucus and a flexible body, apparently the hagfish is not a type of eel or fish in general but is a type of fish. Agnatha i.e. jawless aquatic animals.
2. Living in the deep sea
Although including animals that actively hunt prey in the ocean, most hagfish prefer to eat carrion or marine animals that are dying. Despite having no jaws, hangfish have rows of tiny sharp teeth that can drill into the body of their prey and start gnawing from the inside out.
Most of us will definitely hate this one animal, because it is known to be quite disgusting. But make no mistake, these animals have a very important role in maintaining the ecosystem under the sea because they can recycle animals that have died.
Hagfish is an ancient animal that is much older before the existence of dinosaurs. Reported from New York Posthagfish are thought to have existed since 300 million years ago inhabiting cold and deep oceans, as scavengers with jaws and invertebrates.
Researchers have recently found a hagfish fossil that is estimated to be around 100 million years old, as reported by the journal article Ualberta.comThe discovery of this rare fossil sheds light on the hagfish’s enigmatic evolution. The discovery of one of the oldest Hagfish fossils is known to have lived since at least the Late Cretaceous period, 66 to 100 million years ago.
4. Popular dishes in Korea
Even though they are scavengers on the seabed as well as producing liters of mucus, that doesn’t mean they are unfit for consumption. This food is quite popular with most South Korean people. Quoted from YouTube Thirsty Travel, Hagfish including animals that are enough to make us shudder in horror. The reason is, after the Hagfish is sliced and the innards removed, the Hagfish seems to still be able to move and wriggle even in the roasting process.
There are many ways to eat this Hagfish dish, the most common being sauteed with vegetables and smeared gochujang (Korean style spicy red pepper sauce).
Those were 4 facts about Hagfish, an ancient animal that has various uniqueness and benefits for humans and marine ecosystems.