Celebrate the Ugly!

In general, people love animals with big eyes, soft fur, beautiful feathers or friendly behaviour. But an ecosystem needs everything! Even organisms as unattractive as the hagfish. These rather gross, pink sausages are the slimy scavengers of the deep. With astonishing capabilities: They can transform a bucket of water into a gooey slime within seconds, they mostly feed on dead animals which they enter via mouth, gills, eyes or other unspeakable openings and have a face that only a mother can love. They can tie themselves in a knot, can survive months without feeding and fend off even much larger predators by the use of their slime, clogging the gills of an attacker.

In 2009, the "International Hagfish Day" (celebrated annually on the third Wednesday in October) was promoted for the first time, "encouraging children to look at everybody in the food web, even members as unattractive as the hagfish". Let's celebrate this fascinating creature!

By the way, I met some of those cuddly toys in a Norwegian Fjord. It is up to you to watch this video. Don't tell me that I did not warn you...