• Alysa Salzberg

People video chat with an aquarium’s eels

Quarantine has affected many of us in unexpected ways. Among those who could say that are the spotted eels at Tokyo’s Sumida Aquarium.


The aquarium has been closed to the public since early March, and caretakers were beginning to notice that the eels, which were used to human visitors, had started hiding in the sand when they came by. So, they reached out on social media and asked people to live chat with them.


For a few days at the beginning of May, aquarium staff placed phones on tables near the eels’ tank. People called in and said a few words.


There don’t seem to be translations or even transcripts of the calls that the eels got, but judging from videos like this one on the zoo’s Twitter account, it may have worked. Instead of hiding, the eels stand, undulating curiously and staring at the screens.


Hopefully, like a good phone call or Zoom session with a loved one, the calls did them some good.


Read on to learn more about the Sumida Aquarium’s call for eel calls.


The eels, pictured on the aquarium's Instagram

Image source



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