The Pacific hagfish (Slimius godnowayii)

Really cool story on National Geographic by a really cool writer I’m following on twitter now Rachel Kaufman (@rkaufman).

I have trouble being on the same planet with these creatures, let alone go into the ocean with them.  As Rachel puts it:

Many people are disgusted by the hagfish. These squirmy, eel-looking creatures are known primarily for two repellent traits: eating dying animals from the inside out, and oozing four cups of slime in a fraction of a second.

By Crom’s holy indifference!

Recently, scientists at the University of Guelph published a study that delves into the amazing–and cringingly awful–properties hagfish slime. Apparently, the slime is full of these long (6 inches!) sticky protein threads, which are good for clogging up a predator’s gills and happen to be as light and strong as spider silk.

If, as Rachel posits, this thread could one day lead to clothing, I would cry. A lot.

This is Cronenberg-level body horror at its worse. Cools story, though.