Oregon Drivers Get Slimed

Hagfish Spill

It was a r-eel-y bad day for a handful of motorists in Portland, Oregon recently. They and their cars were covered in slime when a truck dumped nearly 3,500 kg of eels onto highway 101.

The truck was slowing for a construction zone flagger when the load shifted, according to Oregon State Police. When the truck tipped, it dumped 13 containers of slime eels onto everything around it.


The reason that the hagfish is known as the slime eel is because of what they do when they feel threatened. The fish produces massive amounts of mucous from glands along its body. That’s the white ooze that’s covering everything in the photos. While the fish isn’t a popular food here, it is eaten in Korea, which is where this shipment was headed. Extra bad news for highway crews and the owners of the cars, hagfish mucus doesn’t dry out. It stays gooey.


Officials had to use a bulldozer to clear the eels and the slime from the roadway. Despite wondering “what is this going to start smelling like in the next few days,” Oregon State Police made light of the slimy situation, asking TV host Mike Rowe if he thought it would make a good dirty job for Rowe’s show. No serious injuries were reported. Just a lot of people yelling “eeewww!”

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Evan Williams

Evan Williams

Evan is based in Halifax, and has been a car nut for as long as anyone can remember. He autocrosses, does lapping days and TSD rallies, breaks cars and then fixes them again.