Mysterious, blood-sucking fish fell from the Alaskan sky

Commentary By: Albert Mascheroni

ADF&G identified the stray fish as Arctic lampreys, a long, parasitic fish boasting terrifying rings of teeth. No matter how ‘common’ they make this out to be…it is uncommon – Mysterious, blood-sucking fish fell from the Alaskan sky

…I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust. – Deuteronomy 32:24

View post at: https://www.facebook.com/al.masch.50/posts/454207094758976

Commentary In Response to Article By: Elahe Izadi


It all began outside of Value Village in Fairbanks, Alaska. Somehow, a strange-looking eel-like fish — equipped w/teeth perfect for latching onto another animal & sucking its blood — ended up in the thrift store’s parking lot last week. Oh, & the fish was alive.

So store employees put the wiggling creature in a bucket of water & called the Alaska Department of Fish & Game to report it. The department has since received 3 other reports of the fish on land in Fairbanks, including 1 spotted on a man’s lawn.

They are arctic lampreys — long, jawless fish that are the most common lamprey in Alaskan waters.

“They are parasites on other fish & sometimes other marine animals,” said ADFG sport fish information officer Nancy Sisinyak. “They latch on w/those rasping teeth & they live off of the nutrients of that host animal.”

Sisinyak said gulls likely picked up the fish in the nearby Chena River & then dropped them from their mouths mid-flight over the town.

“When the fish wiggles free & the bill scrapes the gills off the fish, it leaves a V-shape on either side,” Sisinyak said.

Lampreys start out small but can grow up to 15 inches in length — just as long as the fish found on land. Sisinyak said the disturbing fish do fall from the sky from time to time, but this many reports w/in a short time frame is unusual. It may be bc of an overabundance of lampreys in Chera River, but not much is known about these fish & their life histories, Sisinyak said.

Researchers do know that lampreys are anadromous, meaning they live in both the ocean & fresh water, & they come back to rivers to spawn. Female lampreys can release up to 100,000 eggs each, & adults die soon after fertilization. Baby lampreys are born w/out teeth & sucking mouths, & it can take 3 to 7 years before they form them as adults.

View full article at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/06/12/why-these-mysterious-blood-sucking-fish-fell-from-the-alaskan-sky/

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