Mar 30, 2008

Travelling Knot

There is debate as to whether or not the hagfish (Myxini sp.) is a true fish. One thing that is not in debate, however, is their hideousness.

These monsters can exude copious quantities of sticky slime when captured or threatened (this slime, to my horror, can actually be used as a substitute for egg whites in baking). Once the threat has passed, they have an unusual means of cleaning off said mucus. They tie themselves into an overhand knot, which then works its way down the animal, head to tail, thereby scraping off the slime. They then flick the slime off the tip of their tail in a derisive, haughty gesture.

That's a stunt I've seen in some cartoons, but never thought actually possible. I'd like to see a boyscout master one of these travelling knots.

Thanks for the photo, Kris.

Photo source: World of Wonders

7 comments:

Shay said...

hagfish, man. does it get much worse? I mean, with them being born as ugly as they are, did nature really need to add the slime factor, really? i'd think if i were a predator, one look at that thing'd send me flying, slime or no slime.

morgan said...

I've had to poke at (and be tested on) specimens of them and everything, but I'll admit that if you had just asked what this picture was of, my first guess would be one of the opening shots of a horrifying 50s B-movie monster.

Jason said...

Useless fact: I'm pretty sure this particular photo is of a model, not an actual hagfish.

But if you wanna see some hagfish slime, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb2EOP3ohnE

Kritter said...

Eggwhites!!?? Baking!!?? AAGH!

Ai said...

Oh please no.... Tell me that eggwhites bit is a joke? DD:

Ewww!

Theodosia said...

It's April Fool's Day, but it was posted on Sunday, so I guess not....

Hagfish slime could be useful in baking if you were making codfish brownies or snail-flavored cake, I suppose.

meg said...

there was a horribly slimy segment about hagfish on Dirty Jobs on discovery channel a while back...it was amazing how they just kept producing slime until they died, and every time they got rid of the slime there would suddenly be more...