Giant Eel Larvae

Ok, this one is a bit far fetched, so if anyone can help me out, that would be great.

Back in the 70’s (when I was a wee little lad) I remember hearing about a fishing trawler, maybe in the South Atlantic, pull up some kind of eel larvae near a deep ocean trench. Some scientist conjectured that from the size of the larvae, it would grow up to be a massive eel - I think over 30’ long.

I’ve gone looking all over some cryptozoology pages trying to pursue this childhood memory. It could have been a snippet from an old B monster movie (most likely explanation), an actual event, or something picked out of a pulp magazine (I remember reading pulp magazines in the 70’s that had strange animal stories - crocodile and shark attacks, poisonous jelly fish, the gruesome Amazon urethra fish).

If anyone knows something about giant deep ocean trench dwelling 30’ eel rumours, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

I can’t seem to come across details of where it was collected, but a six-foot long leptocephalus, or eel larvae, was collected by the research vessel Dana in 1930. A normal leptocephalus is only three inches long. In the early 1970s it was reclassified as the larva of an eellike deep-sea fish belonging to a group called noticanthiforms. Known noticanthiforms don’t change much in size during the metamorphosis from larva to adult.

I could come up with more details, but my cryptozoology books are not at the office.

Dr. Fidelius, Charlatan
Associate Curator Anomalous Paleontology, Miskatonic University
“You cannot reason a man out of a position that he did not reach through reason.”

Dr F is basically right - they turned out to be Notacanth larvae, not true eels. It’s just that no one had ever recognized that Notacanths had larvae similar to those of eels (they are, it turns out, closely related to eels).

When is a Coelacanth Notacanth?

I’m sorry, I really couldn’t resist! :slight_smile:


Cave Diem! Carpe Canem!