The world’s oldest eel is dead
according to Tomas Kjellman,
a Swedish man who claims
the 155-year-old creature lived

at his home in Brantevik until
its recent passing. The European
eel known as “Ale” was thrown
into a well in 1859 by 8-year-old

Samuel Nilsson, the local paper
has reported. In 1962 Kjellman’s
parents bought the property and
at the time “he knew the house

pet was included” and continued
to feed it. Kjellman is mourning
the loss of the large-eyed, fresh-
water fish, telling a reporter he

has “memories of the eel from
when I was a child.” He learned
of the death at a party he hosted
when he went to show off the eel

to his guests. Opening the well’s
cover he found Ale had expired.
The species typically lives between
10 and 15 years although a female

in captivity reached an age of 88.
Ale’s body has been sent to a lab
in Stockholm where zoologists will
attempt to determine the eel’s exact

life span and if in fact Ale survived
more than a century and a half of
human history in a deep well’s dark
water in Tomas Kjellman’s backyard.

Nels Hanson
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