Nature

The Mystery of Eels

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Though much of the natural world is discovered and understood, a few great mysteries remain. Consider the eel -- snakelike and slimy, with a row of jagged teeth. Yet aside from these fearsome qualities, we know little about its life. Where it goes, what it does, and how it dies, nobody knows. Hailed by poets as the "siren of the North Sea" and "love's arrow on Earth," this shadowy creature has fascinated researchers for centuries. And now James Prosek, artist, writer, and eminent naturalist, takes on the mystery of the eel himself, shedding light on the animal and the strange behavior it inspires in those who seek to know it.

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