Gray Heron Snatches Eel, Has Serious Trouble Trying to Swallow It: VIDEO

by Amy Myers
Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A gray heron decided to have its meal sushi-style when it found an eel that looked just big enough to gulp down in one bite. Once it chomped down, though, it realized that the aquatic cuisine wasn’t going down without a fight.

The video surfaced on the popular wildlife Instagram profile, Nature Is Metal, and in it, the gray heron struggled to get a good grip on its prey. All the while, the eel thrashed and coiled around the bird’s beak, looking for an escape. Finally, the heron was able to get the fish down its gullet. But even then, you can still see the critter slithering around inside the heron’s throat.

Watch the crazy clip below.

Not surprisingly, the literal stomach-turning meal warranted responses ranging from admirable to disgusted.

“Yep, pretty sure I wouldn’t like that feeling in my stomach,” one viewer wrote.

Another wrote, “Oh my word! The way it backs out of the Heron’s mouth is incredible!”

Some even compared the experience to eating “Noodles with chop sticks.”

Fish Ends up in Reverse Situation as Gray Heron

In other, equally bizarre news, a fish ended up becoming the meal for a parasite that found its way into the aquatic animal’s mouth. As it turned out, the parasite had actually replaced its host’s tongue.

According to the Twitter account responsible for the horrific photo, this is actually quite common behavior for the parasite.

“Cymothoa exigua is a type of parasite that enters fish’s gills, eats their tongue, and then replaces it,” the account shared.

Take a look below. But be warned, it will definitely keep you up at night.

“I’m never sleeping again,” one person wrote, adding, “Also, that fish looks like it has human teeth on the top which is not helping at all.”

Now the gray heron’s meal doesn’t seem so disturbing.

This isn’t the only instance of an angler finding this kind of parasite in a fish’s mouth. In Texas, Galveston Island State Park shared a snapshot of another scaly victim suffering from a similar situation. Sure enough, there was another critter hiding in the fish’s mouth.

“Inside this Atlantic Croaker’s mouth is a parasitic isopod called a tongue-eating louse,” the park shared. “This parasite detaches the fish’s tongue, attaches itself to the fish’s mouth, and becomes its tongue. The parasite then feeds on the fish’s mucus. It also happens to be the only known case where a parasite functionally replaces a host’s organ.”

Even though the parasite replaces the organ, it does not kill the fish. In fact, the parasite depends on the host’s survival for its own.