What better way to start your Sunday than with three stories about mysterious plagues of biblical style and proportions – or at least biblical to those finding eels falling from the sky, roads completely covered with toads and a house whose walls are filled with snakes.
Eels fell from the sky in Fairbanks, Alaska, last week as residents found specimens of the world’s scariest-looking eel – the Arctic lamprey – flopping around a long way from the lakes and rivers, where they normally swim. Four of the foot-long vampire-toothed eels were discovered in parking lots and on lawns in Fairbanks. Alaska Department of Fishing and Game officials blamed the falling eels on flying gulls that couldn’t hold on to the dinners they caught in the Chena River. The skies should be clear of eels after spawning season.
Meanwhile, residents of a village in China’s Liaoning Province woke up this weekend wondering what they did to deserve a plague of tens of thousand of toads hopping, crawling and cross-species leap-frogging their way across roads, fields, parking lots and other toads. Did they rain from the sly like the Arctic lampreys? No, but rain was involved. An unusually heavy rainfall washed them out of a nearby lake. No humans were harmed but let’s just say the number of toads that made it back was probably in the fives of thousand.
Then there’s the snakes. A family in Annapolis, Maryland, paid $410,000 for their dream house last winter, only to find as the weather warmed that the installation in the walls was actually seven-foot-long black rat snakes. After finding eight live snakes and a lot of skins and feces, they paid $50,000 to a pest expert only to be told the walls needed to be torn down and floors pulled up to guarantee their home to be snake-free. Instead, they moved out and sued the realtor who sold them the house for $2 million in damages. Meanwhile, the rat snakes are having a party.
It’s always good to remember that we share this planet with other living creatures. Do you ever wonder if they think WE’RE the plague?