There exists a band called Eels, which has cut some nifty tracks in its day I remember the Beautiful Freak album, nearly 20 years ago but I never really warmed to them because of their name, which is reminiscent of a creature I will never really warm to:
Personally, I can’t think of a sea creature more horrific than the eel. It has all the negative qualities of a fish (might touch you while swimming, incapable of feeling love), plus all the negative qualities of a snake (has no limbs at all yet somehow manages to move around) plus, in some cases, all the negative qualities of a poorly-grounded home appliance. In fact, if I were choosing something to encounter in open water, I’d rank only one fish lower than an eel: an eel that’s been marinating in cocaine. Unfortunately for me, a team of Italian scientists has been exposing European eels to low doses of cocaine to monitor the effect of the drug.
I’m hearing shrieks, and not just from the eels, either:
As it turns out, giving cocaine to eels is a bad idea for reasons beyond my phobias. Aside from the coke-exposed eels appearing “hyperactive compared to the other groups,” cocaine exposure thickened the eels’ skin and intestinal linings, reduced the amount of mucus in their skin, and increased their production of hormones like prolactin and cortisol chemicals important for eels’ endocrine functioning…
Messing with an eel’s skin is serious stuff. Cocaine’s effects could hamper the eel’s ability to protect itself against disease and injury, recognize sexual partners, or secrete alarm pheromones.
So: not at all novocaine for the soul. Still, where’s a non-self-respecting eel supposed to find cocaine?
A 2014 study, also by Italian researchers, found 13 nanograms of cocaine per liter of water in Italy’s Sarno River, meaning that almost 15 grams of cocaine flow through the river every day.
I think I’d better leave it at that.
(Via Eric Siegmund.)