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Things We Saw Today: 2020 Is a Garbage Bag of Loose Eels

Be the garbage bag of eels you wish to see in the world.


We’re only a scant 10 weeks out from the end of 2020, but this interminable year still has some bonkers surprises in store. Like this bizarre story about a man who released two large bags of live eels into Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn, New York. The unnamed man dragged the bags to the shoreline of the lake, telling bystanders, “I just want to save lives.”

Releasing non-native wildlife is illegal, and can have drastic effects on the local ecosystem. These particular eels eat everything from plants to insects to frogs to fish, which could damage the local wildlife of the lake. Jason Munshi-South, an urban ecologist at Fordham University said, “People like animals and they sometimes think they’re doing a good thing by letting them go, … Most will die. Some will become a problem, and then there’s no going back.”

It is not known where the eels came from, although similar eels can be bought at a live fish market. Experts have identified them as swamp eels originating in Southeast Asia, but we still don’t know who the man was and why he decided to bag up the eels and release them in a local fishing lake.

Imagine, if you will, a man out for a jog. He runs through Prospect Park, a brief respite of greenery amidst the bustling city. He looks out upon the shimmering lake, only to watch as a black mass of tangled eels squirm about on the shoreline. If that happened to me, I would never run again. I may never even leave my apartment again. Truly, what the actual f-ck.

And while the swamp eels wouldn’t normally survive a New York winter, global warming may make the lake a more hospitable home for them. “Hooray!”, said the eels and no one else.

This bizarre news story is peak 2020: it’s strange, it’s kind of gross, and it’s utterly WTF. Garbage Bags of Eels 2020, I guess.

(via HuffPost, featured image: BORIS HORVAT/AFP via Getty Images)

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Hope you’re having a safe and stress-free Saturday, Mary Suevians!

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.