Friday, May 04, 2007

Ave, YouTube!

Here's some cool footage of a scuba diver who gets his thumb bitten off by a moray eel. Unfortunately, the actual moment of the bite isn't all that clear, but you can hear, through the water, the popping sound of the thumb coming off (the video alerts you to this sound). If you listen carefully, you can hear the diver scream the moment the eel latches on to his thumb. The moment the thumb pops off, you hear what sounds suspiciously like someone shouting "Shit!" underwater.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite animals was the octopus. I knew everything about it-- its life span, its predatory habits, its habitat, its cognitive and emotional range, the works. I also knew that one of the octopus's enemies was the dreaded moray eel, a creature you simply don't screw around with. The moray eel's jaws are extremely strong, and the eel itself can be mighty quick when hungry or angry. The diver-- who, as you'll see in the vid, ends up getting one of his toes grafted onto the stump of his thumb-- spends his time playing with the eels, petting them as if they were domesticated animals and taunting them by waving food in front of them. Small wonder that he ended up with a thumb bitten off.

The comments under the video are hilarious, with several people thinking the same thing I was: lucky the eel only got this thumb and not his dick.

You know... if I had been so stupid as to get my thumb bitten off, I'd have compounded the stupidity by knifing the eel, extracting my thumb, and bringing the latter back to the surface to be sewn back on.

I'd have bagged and eaten the eel, too.



annika said...

moray eels are scary. i saw one while snorkeling in hawaii and got the hell out of there real quick

Anonymous said...

I can’t see the video from work, but have seen many moray eels diving in the Marshal Islands.

My old boss was also an avid diver (I saw a date of manufacture on some of his old gear – not in use – that was made in the early 70s) who once had a run-in with an moray.

He was diving around an old Japanese shipwreck. As he looked into a hatch/hole of some sort, a large moray eel came right out and bit his mask. Luckily for him, in the old days they used large, metal rimmed masks that made a big circle, with the nose inside that circle (unlike the vastly more prevalent goggle type masks these days with the nose under the rims).

The eel’s jaws came down on the metal rim of the mask (top and bottom – mouth covered the whole thing) and it let go. Of course it scared the living sh*t out of my boss. It was a big eel and things look ~25 percent larger underwater. Imagine a big mouth full of teeth coming right for your face. . .

As I said, he was very lucky – nose not bitten off, mask didn’t come off, and if you crap your pants in the ocean, well who’s to know?

Another thing about those eels is that their bite can make you sick. They feed on, among other things, reef fish, which eat a lot of coral, and toxins build up in them. Much of the fish flesh remains in the eels teeth to putrefy. So a bit transferred toxic, rotted fish meat to the victim. I knew someone who got sick from that.

So I’m not so sure knifing a moray eel would get you the best results.

I’ve been tempted to do some moronic things underwater, such as spearing (barbed spear from a trigger operated spear gun) a 6 foot grouper (no joke) at ~100 feet. Tempted, but didn’t do it, which may be one of the reasons I’m here to write this. . .

Jelly said...

This has nothing to do with a moray eel, (but once while scuba-ing in the Bahamas I turned to find a barracuda following me...that was scary!)
Another time, I was painting a barn with my friend Darren. He was up on a ladder and I was working underneath him. Suddenly he made this awful sound- and just let his feet go off the ladder. He slid all the way down. A bat had squished its way out of a small crack - it seemed less than an inch, right into his face!
That video was toetastic!