Eel-like fish fall from the sky in Fairbanks, Alaska

Strange-looking fish, identified as Arctic lamprey, are being found in odd locations on land in the community, such as the Value Village parking lot.

Arctic lampreys found on lawns and in Value Village parking lot

An Arctic lamprey latches on to the fish tank glass in the Fairbanks office of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Lampreys are being found in odd locations on land in the community, dropped by gulls. (Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Fairbanks has been fielding calls this week about eel-like fish falling from the sky.

The calls have been about strange-looking fish, identified as Arctic lamprey, being found in odd locations on land in the community. 

This 38 centimetre long Arctic lamprey was found on land in the city of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says the line marks on its skin are evidence that it was squeezed between the bills of a gull. (Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

In a Facebook post, the department says the local Value Village store found a live lamprey in its parking lot and placed it in a bucket of water. Another man found one on his lawn.

The department says a total of four lamprey have been found on land so far.

It theorizes that gulls are fishing the lampreys out of the nearby Chena River but are losing their grip on the "squirming critters" while in flight. 

Arctic lampreys have a round mouth filled with small sharp teeth but no jaws, and can grow up to 38 centimetres long.


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