Science Doesn't Know How Eels Bone

Have you ever thought about how eels bone? Of course, you have. How would that work? Where are their hogs? For answers to such questions, we usually turn to smarter people who don't use words like "hog" to describe sexual organs. 

Lance Anderson/Unsplash
"The term is actually 'Hogus Dongi.'"
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The problem with that is that they're not sure, either. For a long time, it was a complete mystery how eels reproduce. They didn't appear to have testes or ovaries, and no one had ever seen them mating. Sigmund Freud was so obsessed with it in his youth that he dissected countless eels trying to figure it out, before eventually giving up to move onto other areas of inquiry. (Areas where he later no doubt had theories about his eel obsession.)

Max Halberstadt
"Sometimes, an eel is just an eel. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to put this cigar in my mouth."
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What we've learned about eel biology in the intervening centuries only makes it weirder: Eels go through four stages of life, and during the last one, their stomachs dissolve so they can no longer eat, their bodies are like "Well, 'bout to die, guess I better make more of me," and they just ... develop reproductive organs. Out of nowhere. This can happen a few years into their lives or a few decades. Imagine going your whole life without balls, and then, once you've hit "senior discount" years, they just spring out from between your legs. You'd have a heart attack because you're so old. That's just the facts of life for eels.

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Then they go to a specific sea to mate, but still, scientists don't know why or even how. No one has ever even seen a non-baby eel in the Sargasso Sea, almost like the eels just made up some bullshit to get these nerds off their backs. They've used GPS trackers and microphones, performed some complicated business with pheromones and buoys to try to attract horny man eels, and straight-up cut open every fish of "eel-eater" size in the joint, and they've never found one. It was big news when they finally electronically tracked a single eel to the Sargasso Sea in 2015, but that just confirmed what they already knew. "Yep, they go there," is what passes for groundbreaking in the scientific world of eel bangin'.

Read about Manna's adventures looking for sexy pictures of eels on Twitter.

Top image: Yury Velikanau/Wikimedia Commons

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