Sweden is in mourning, and not for Robin Williams.
The Local.se reports:
The world’s oldest European eel just died in its home, a well in a southern Swedish fishing town, aged 155. …
In 1859 an 8-year-old Swede by the name of Samuel Nilsson threw the eel into the well. While the act may be reminiscent of children throwing strange objects into toilets in modern times, it was in fact common practice to throw an eel in your well.
Many towns didn’t have public water systems until the 1960s, and eels ate the flies and other creepy crawlies, keeping the house’s water supply clean .
Since its drop into the dark in 1859, the eel has been featured in books and documentaries, and made multiple cameos on Swedish TV.
Read the whole story.
In Pennsylvania, where I grew up, farmers often kept a brook trout in their spring house for the same reason.
If you believe the story, I guess Lamarckianism must be true.