Everyone knows that cats have nine lives and a dog is a man’s best friend. But what about eels. What do we really know about eels? How many lives do they have and who are they best friend to?

Ahead of the River to Lough Festival on Saturday August 29 here are 9 things you couldn’t possibly know about eels* unless you’ve studied them for an environmental science module.

  1. Along with Parma ham, Champagne and Feta cheese, the Lough Neagh Eel is a member of the Food Elite of Europe having been PGI registered in 2011.
  2. Eels have two hearts, a main one behind their head and another at the tip of their tail.
  3. An eel has an amazing sense of smell, as good as a dog.
  4. Baby eels are neither males nor females! This is decided and controlled by how many eels are around them as they get older… lots of eels about, they become males, not so many about they become females. When eels take on a new sex there’s much less fuss than when human beings do the same. See: Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner.
  5. They can live out of water for 24 hours as long as they are damp.
  6. No one has ever successfully bred eels in captivity or seen them breeding in the wild. Now there’s a challenge for the paparazzi.
  7. Silver eels do not swim in a straight line across the ocean but undertake a 600m vertical descent and ascent everyday on their way across the Atlantic. #ScenicRoute
  8. Eels have 4 lives
  9. Eels are a sea horse’s best friend

*Two of the following facts have been made up to suit the introduction of this eel-based listicle.

For more information on the River to Lough Festival check out rivertolough.co.uk

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