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Apocalyptic hagfish spill covers highway in slime

Containers filled with creepy sea creatures broke open on an Oregon highway, creating one of the slimiest roadway spills ever recorded.

Slime-ville on an Oregon highway.

Depoe Bay Fire and Rescue

Oh, the horror. 

An Oregon highway transformed into a nightmare landscape of eel-like lifeforms and mass quantities of slime when a truck loaded with sea creatures spilled its cargo on Thursday. Depoe Bay Fire and Rescue shared a series of photos and videos of the ghastly accident on Twitter. Some of the sea critters, known as hagfish, can be seen still wriggling across the pavement

Depoe Bay Fire and Rescue personnel resorted to using powerful hoses to clean the slippery section of US Highway 101, calling it "operation eel cleanup." There were no major injuries, though several vehicles suffered damage and became engulfed in the slime. 

The Oregonian reported the spill as coming from a "truck full of eels" destined to be shipped to Korea, where they are considered a delicacy. Hagfish are nicknamed "slime eels" thanks to their ability to secrete sticky mucus from their glands. 

Hagfish can be found dwelling at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and are harvested off the coast of Oregon.

The Oregonian notes the driver of the truck, Salvatore Tragale, couldn't stop in time as he approached traffic at a standstill due to road construction. Containers holding the hagfish flew into the opposite lane, causing a series of collisions. 

UC Berkeley describes hagfish as "Lovecraftian," long, slender and pinkish. "Hagfish have three accessory hearts, no cerebrum or cerebellum, no jaws or stomach, and will 'sneeze' when their nostrils clog with their own slime," the university notes. 

The hagfish-on-the-highway images may haunt your nightmares for days to come. The Oregon Department of Transportation tweeted out this missive last night: "We're signing off for the evening, but I doubt we'll sleep tonight because...#eels."

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