Book Review: Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World's Most Mysterious Fish by James Prosek | Science News

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Book Review: Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World's Most Mysterious Fish by James Prosek

Review by Sid Perkins

By
10:28am, November 5, 2010

What many people in the West view as vile, slimy creatures are, according to Prosek, the world’s most mysterious fish. (Yes, despite often being mistaken for snakes, eels are fish.) They can live for a century, they spend most of their lives in fresh water but must return to sea to spawn, and they can travel up to a quarter of the globe to do that spawning.

In a captivating account, Prosek takes readers though the scientific, cultural and culinary worlds of eels. In the South Pacific, eels figure prominently in creation myths, even being worshipped by some family clans on one small island. While historians still debate whether the Pilgrims ate turkey at their first Thanksgiving, one account from the era indicates that Native Americans taught starving colon

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