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Awwww or Darwin Award candidate?

By Leonard Ho - Posted Mar 18, 2014 09:00 AM
Green moray eels (Gymnothorax funebris) usually evoke fear or at least healthy respect from anyone entering their proximity, but we've seen more than one case where these eels are extremely docile — dare we say puppy-like — with their caretakers.
Awwww or Darwin Award candidate?

We think a cleaner shrimp might be safer.

In this video, the owner (presumably of a pet store) is seen not only stroking and hand-feeding the huge eel but also petting the inside of its mouth!  As bizarre and scary as this footage, it's actually one of several videos we've seen of caretakers handling - though not to this extreme - massive green moray eels without incident.  See this video for example.

Then again, we've also seen our fair share of the terrible flesh wounds these eels can inflict on people (photos we will gracefully not share, but google them if you dare).  Here's the deal with G.funebris' teeth:  they're razor sharp and oriented inward, meaning if your flesh is caught on their teeth and you pull outwards or even downwards, you end up tearing flesh.  In other words, once you're bitten, the damage is likely going to be very traumatic.

While this video is very cool, please do not try this.  Don't make us post the gruesome bloody bite photos.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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