eel good.

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"Don't let me be lon-eel-y tonight."

An Aquarium in Japan Wants You to FaceTime With Its Shy Eels

“Many people have turned to video chat as a way to continue socializing while in quarantine, and the Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo, Japan, is asking you to help its eels do the same.

After the aquarium closed its doors to the public on March 1, its population of 300-odd spotted garden eels became increasingly bashful, burrowing into the sand whenever staff members were around. Although that isn’t abnormal behavior for wild garden eels, the ones in captivity at Sumida had adapted to the consistent, non-threatening presence of human visitors, and no longer tried to hide whenever someone approached.

This return to reticence is making it hard for employees to monitor their health, so they’ve devised a plan to reacclimate the tiny creatures to the existence of people: a three-day “face-showing festival” from Sunday, May 3, to Tuesday, May 5. During that time, the aquarium is requesting that people FaceTime the eels, waving or calmly calling out to them for up to 5 minutes before disconnecting.

Since they’ll be using FaceTime, you’ll need an iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device to call in. Staff members will be accepting calls on five tablets around the tanks, so there are five different email addresses you can try if you’d like to chat with the eels:

helpchin001@gmail.com
helpchin002@gmail.com
helpchin003@gmail.com
helpchin004@gmail.com
helpchin005@gmail.com

The lines will be open each day from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m JST, and because Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of EST, participants in the U.S. will technically need to call in the night before; i.e. from Saturday, May 2, to Monday, May 4, between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 1 a.m EST.In other words, it’s the perfect time to read a very short bedtime story to a very small eel.

 

“i don’t mind eels. except as meals.”

-ogden nash

 

credits: ellen gutosky, mental floss

55 responses »

  1. How absolutely adorable is this story? I suddenly want to be best friends with a garden eel. Well written and well shared, Beth. You always bring a warm light with your words. And I always love the quotes you leave with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • it is such a happy story, though i am just sharing it. written by mental floss (see the bottom for credits), and i love their interesting stories about the world. i also loved nash’s quote and felt it went happily with the story. get busybface-timing, don’t waste another minute!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t have even given this more than a cursory glance in normal times, but I’m getting desperate here. Bring on the eels!

    Liked by 1 person

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