Tag Archives: eel

Eel out swamp eel in

Consulting the source paper for the rectum-eating eel (Siu Fai Lo, Sin Hang Wong, Lok Sang Leung, In Chak Law, Andrew Wai Chun Yip, Traumatic rectal perforation by an eel, Surgery, Volume 135, Issue 1, January 2004, Pages 110-111) where the fish is not identified further than to “eel”, it appears from the photograph there, which is very small and in low resolution, that this is not an eel at all, but more likely a swamp eel, apparently Monopterus albus, a common food fish in China where it is sold alive in the markets. This identification is suggested by the very slender tip of the tail, and somewhat inflated gular region. Thanks to Ralf Britz, expert on this order of fishes, the Synbranchiformes, for inspiring me to look at the original paper and first suggesting the identification. The swamp eel portrayed here, was never inside a human, though:

Monopterus albus, preserved. Photo Sven O Kullander, CC-BY-NC

Eel in eel out

One of my favorite sites is Matt Clarke’s web version of Practical Fishkeeping, a British aquarium journal.

Matt’s blog recently had this message: “50cm eel removed from man’s rectum”. This report building on an article in the commercial medical journal Surgery, relates that a man put up a live eel (Anguilla, species uncertain) in his rectum to remedy constipation. I guess the eel was supposed to eat away on whatever was blocking, but it was hungrier than that. That blog post has been read 10,925 times, which is probably quite good for a fish blog. I am fascinated also by the language in the comments. That is why I am never ashamed of mine Englisch. Now, see Practical Fishkeeping for more details or forget you ever saw this message …

Image: Robbie N. Cada, public domain