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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Where do eels come from? A mystery unsolved by humankind

Humans are said to be the most intelligent species living on the planet Earth. Capable of stepping on the moon, discovering the rapidly increasing vast universe, and reaching the minerals present deep inside the soils. Yet there are a few mysterious creations of God that even the most intelligent scientists are unable to unravel. The origins and reproduction of eels are one such mystery unsolved by humankind. Where do eels come from?

This is a question marine experts are studying to know since the 20th century, yet they have only been able to scratch the surface. Now, even though scientists know how to distinguish between a real eel and a fake one, they do not know where these came from and how they reproduce.

What is an eel?

There are two types of eel commonly known to mankind. One is called an electric eel that electrocutes a human or other harmful creature at a time of defense, and the other is called a moray eel. Of the two, the latter is said to be a real eel, while the former is only a type of fish.

So, how to distinguish between a real eel and a fake one? To know that, observe a few characteristics of an eel. Different types of fish have fins on a different parts of their bodies. An eel has an elongated body with one dorsal fin. This is a continuous fin that continues and connects with the caudal and anal fin of an eel.

Not all have scales embedded in their skin, but those that do use these scales when threatened. The absence of sales in an eel’s body causes it to produce slime in times of danger. If not, they may use their sharp teeth to defend themselves.

To produce oxygen, eels use the caterpillars present beneath their skin. They usually live in freshwater, but that is not mostly where they breed. The moray eel spends most of their lifetime in salt water, and they must travel from freshwater to saltwater for breeding.

If we talk about an electric eel, they lay eggs in freshwater and have no dorsal fin. Scales are mostly not present on their skin and they do not have sharp teeth.

The origins of eels

There are many constitutional theories about where eels came from. According to Aristotle, came from/evolved from earthworms that originate in the mud. Sigmund Freud spent 10 hours of his daily research life in studying these creatures, where he tried to relate them with snakes. Other scientists concluded that generate spontaneously.

Well, this information is no good, is it? we still do not have a definite answer that will solve the mystery of eels.

Reproductive organs of eels

If we cannot conclude where eels first came from, we can form a theory that will help in solving the mystery of how they reproduce to give birth to new eels.

Eels are no rare species. There are hundreds and thousands of they living underwater and have become a common test subject for many scientific pieces of research. How do these eels come to life?

We know that eels are not asexual, but scientists have also not found any genitals that ensure the offspring’s origination.

Theory and a few pieces of research have stated that when the female eel lays her eggs in saltwater, they are fertilized by the male sperms. Later on, they die and the eggs lay in the water until they are hatched.

That is the most information you can get on the ‘mating’ process of eels. No one has ever seen them mate and no genitals have ever been found. What is more, even when the female eel was dissected for study, scientists did not find any eggs inside the eel’s body that would give them a hint about the reproduction process.

European Eels

Eels are said to live in the middle of the Antarctic Ocean. The Sargasso Sea provides the saltwater they need to grow. Another important factor this sea provides is the discrimination between a male and female eel, which is impossible to know elsewhere.

Here, eels undergo the five stages of their development as follows:

  • Egg
  • Larva
  • Glass eels
  • Elvers
  • Adult eels

Their lifespan is about 12 years, depending on the environment they live in.

Can eels reproduce in isolation?

Consider it a hobby or use, but glass eels and Elvers captivated to either restock depleting ponds or just as a piece of decoration. They put in isolation to prevent infection and scientists conduct research on them.

So far, a few scientists have claimed to have found genitals inside an eel’s body, and some even say they have observed the reproduction of it even when captivated. Although hard to believe, these eels will reproduce in different environments if the necessary conditions are provided.

A few types of eels

Enough with the boring and complicated question of eel’s origin and reproduction. Let us explore a few different species of eels and their types:

American Eel

Having a body of about 133 centimeters long, these can change their colors to green, yellow, and brown.

New Zealand Eel

Being 1 to 2 meters long, these eels live in the range of 18 to 52 years.

Japanese Eel

This dark brown to black colored eel eats fish and insects for its survival in the Chinese and Japanese waters.

Conclusion

Even though humans are considered the most intelligent species on the planet Earth, the mystery of eels still remains unraveled. After a century of studying the creature, scientists have merely been able to scratch the surface of eels.

The reproduction system and origination of eels are still being studied by many in the world and we hope to know more about this creature in the following years.

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