A hagfish protruding from a sponge
Image credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/noaaphotolib/">NOAA Photo Library</a> [<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a>], via <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/noaaphotolib/9734399523">Flickr</a>

This was a new one for me. Until I started researching today’s topic, I’d never heard of the hagfish. And now that I have researched it…I almost feel like I’d have been happier not knowing. Well, here goes. The name hagfish refers to any of 76 species of fish in the class Myxini. They look much like eels, except that eels are cool and hagfish are…what’s the word I’m looking for…repulsive? Yeah, that’ll do. Indeed, the organization that declared October 17 to be Hagfish Day is WhaleTimes, using the slogan “celebrate the beauty of ugly.” Well, yes. Hagfish have a pretty appalling appearance, which I can only assume helps to keep away predators. They have no jaw, they secrete vast volumes of slime, and they can tie themselves in knots—and that’s just for starters. If you have a strong stomach, you can go search for photos of hagfish. If you don’t, forget I ever mentioned it.