Please view the main text area of the page by skipping the main menu.

Jaw dropping: Moray placing head in eel's mouth at Japan aquarium creates Twitter buzz

A moray eel, left, puts its head into the mouth of a black-spotted moray at the Susami Municipal Aquarium of Crab and Shrimp in Wakayama Prefecture. (Photo courtesy of the aquarium)

SUSAMI, Wakayama -- A video that shows a moray eel putting its head into another moray's mouth at an aquarium in this west Japan town has created a buzz on Twitter.

    Susami Municipal Aquarium of Crab and Shrimp director Atsushi Hirai spotted by coincidence a roughly 90-centimeter-long moray eel suddenly putting its head into the wide-open mouth of an about 170-centimeter-long black-spotted moray at around 5 p.m. on Nov. 20, and shot the video with a smartphone. In the video, the smaller moray pulls out its head about 20 seconds later, and disappears from the screen like nothing happened. The aquarium posted the video on Twitter on Nov. 21, and it had earned more than 1 million views by Nov. 24.

    Black-spotted moray eels are carnivorous, and eat other creatures such as fish and octopus. Though about 50 morays consisting of eight species coexist in the same water tank at the aquarium, when staff were about to add another black-spotted moray into the tank on Nov. 19, a moray of the same species -- the one shot in the video -- apparently attacked it, so the aquarium decided not to add the new one.

    A moray eel, foreground, pulls out its head from the mouth of a black-spotted moray at the Susami Municipal Aquarium of Crab and Shrimp in Wakayama Prefecture. (Photo courtesy of the aquarium)

    Because of such a background, Hirai said about the two morays in the video, "I thought that the (smaller) moray would be definitely eaten. When it came out safely, I was stunned." He added, "It was my first time to see such behavior, and I don't know why it did that."

    (Japanese original by Yukihiro Takeuchi, Tanabe Local Bureau)

    Also in The Mainichi

    The Mainichi on social media

    Trending