• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

World's oldest eel's head recovered at last

The Local · 12 Aug 2014, 14:37

Published: 11 Aug 2014 13:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Aug 2014 14:37 GMT+02:00

All is well - the head of Åle the eel has been found.

Fish expert Johan Wagnström searched in the old well - the eel's abode for 155 years - for several hours on Tuesday with no success. There was still no head.

So finally he checked the freezer, where the eel's body had rested before being sent for analysis - and voila, chilled eel head.

The eel now awaits its autopsy at the Freshwater Institute in Stockholm, where experts will analyze the ringed otoliths in its ears to determine its exact age.

"The owner of the well wasn't too keen on getting down there himself," Wagnström said. "And it was worth it, since it could give us new expertise on how to analyse the ear stones."


The expert on the hunt for eel head. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

It was the summer of 1859 when Åle the eel (pronounced Oh-leh) was tossed into his dark new home. There he lived, making headlines every now and then, and there he died in 2014, leaving behind his 110-year-old nameless friend.

The news shocked the eel's owners, and indeed the world - which is now waiting in anticipation to hear exactly how old Åle was. The fishy body was sent to Institute of Freshwater Research in Stockholm county for study.

But Åle was a headless wonder.

"The eel had dissolved so much by the time they found it that it split in two when they tried to get it up," Wagnström explained.

At any rate, Åle's autopsy will not be completed until August 25th at the earliest.

The eel has always been a minor celebrity in Sweden, but Åle became known on a global scale after international media picked up The Local's story and interview with eel-owner Tomas Kjellman. The eel made appearances on BBC, The Huffington Post, NY Daily News, The Times, and The Telegraph, among others.

Read also: World's oldest eel dies in Swedish well

The eel pictured is in fact Åle the eel, when he was only 100 years old. Photo: Private

Story continues below…

Åle also was the star of his own hashtag, with the #RIPÅlen (RIP Eel) campaign taking over Twitter, started by a priest and artist who calls himself Wisti.

"The eel's death came timely," Wisti told The Local, saying he believed it was healthy to have something to joke about at a time when so much violence is occurring in the world.

"We were able to unite in pretend-mourning and actually relieve our thoughts of catastrophe a bit."

The farcical fun reached as far as Ireland and Canada - contribute your own homage to the eel.

And while you're at it, remember that there is still one lonely, nameless eel stuck in the well - what should we call it? Write your suggestions on Twitter under #NameTheEel.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Watch out for rail delays this holiday weekend
Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Make sure you bring plenty of entertainment if you’re taking the train between Sweden’s two biggest cities this weekend.

Weary asylum seekers choose to leave Sweden
Police supervise a queue of asylum seekers at Hyllie station near Malmö in November 2015. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Year-long waits are one reason.

Disgraced celeb surgeon defends work in first interview
Paolo Macchiarini. Photo: Lorenzo Galassi/TT/AP

Scandal-hit Italian surgeon Paolo Macchiarini is accused of using Swedish patients as guinea pigs.

The Local List
Nine startling ways Sweden's capital will steal your heart
Living in Stockholm isn't all about Abba and meatballs. Photos: Hasse Holmberg/Anders Wikström/Christine Olsson/TT

It's easy to fall in love with Stockholm's architecture, parks and sense of style. But there are so many more reasons to be passionate about the stunning city.

Couple terrified after new tenant bakes hash cake
This gingerbread cake is perfectly innocent. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

He doesn’t Iive with them any more.

Fury as sacked boss gets job with migration agency
Angeles Bermudez-Svankvist in 2011. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

“People were screaming in the corridors.”

Police resources back to normal after terror threat
The headquarters where Säpo, Sweden's security police is based. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Swedish police say they're no longer deploying extra resources following a reported terror threat in the run-up to Eurovision.

Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
Photo: David Lagerlöf/Expo/TT

Swedes are calling this picture an instant icon.

Opinion
'Swedes, please give your sperm a purpose'
File picture of an embryo. Photo: Richard Drew/AP

Swedish men should stop jerking off in public places and start donating sperm to help single women have babies, argues Stockholm-based writer Matilda Karlsson.

Petrol firm tries to woo women to pumps with new name
A Statoil station in Enköping. Photo: Fredrik Strandberg/TT

A Statoil petrol station in Stockholm today becomes the first in Europe to get a makeover.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
International
Eurovision heads to the US (kind of)
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Blog updates

29 April

Editor’s blog, April 29th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Relations between Sweden and Russia went from slightly strained to full-on James Bond this…" READ »

 

18 April

A day as a guard (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Life as an Ambassador. Driven around in the Jaguar. Visits all planned so you go straight…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Kista: The best office space in Sweden?
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Sponsored Article
'Swedes must realize only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
National
INTERVIEW: Swedish police officer 'beat me up and used racial slurs'
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Gallery
People-watching: April 27th
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
National
Öresund bridge border checks net record number of drink drivers
National
Swedes bid farewell to iconic Volvo
Sponsored Article
Why international researchers love to call Malmö home
Gallery
Property of the week: Enköping
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd-24th
Politics
Could Brits in Europe stop Brexit?
Sponsored Article
‘Life in Stockholm’s suburbs is better than people realize’
National
The first official picture of Sweden's new royal Prince Alexander
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
National
Sweden's Sami reindeer still live in the shadow of Chernobyl
Sponsored Article
'A sustainable Sweden must embrace diversity'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 20th
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
National
Why was a Nazi flag hoisted in a Swedish town on Hitler's birthday?
Sponsored Article
Sigtunaskolan: 'The best of what Sweden has to offer'
National
How did Sweden's deputy PM get in trouble over New York comments?
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 16th-17th
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
Culture
Sweden finally axes historic dancing ban
International
Have you phoned Sweden yet?
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 13th
National
Is booze going up in Sweden?
3,278
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se