8 reasons why the New Zealand longfin eel symbolises the Year of the Water Snake

Happy New Year of the Water Snake to all our friends and customers!

In the prelapsarian paradise of New Zealand, we don't have endemic water snakes. (Or metal, wood, fire or earth snakes, for that matter.) So to symbolise the Year of the Water Snake, we propose our native longfin eel (Maori name: tuna).

Amazing facts about NZ longfin eel from Department of Conservation

How is a New Zealand longfin eel like a person born in a year of the water snake?
Warning: Random misquotes about water snake characteristics matched with truths about eels to follow.

  1. It is very difficult to know what water snake people are feeling: it is very difficult to know what New Zealand longfin eels are feeling, also.
  2. Water snake people are determined: New Zealand longfin eels can swim 5000 kilometres (once) and climb up 20-metre waterfalls.
  3. Water snake people are cool customers: New Zealand longfin eels try to avoid hot water.
  4. Water snake people have long memories: New Zealand longfin eels live 25–108 years—and can still remember where they were born.
  5. Water snake people are expert seducers: New Zealand longfin eels have to be expert seducers, because they only get one shot at sex in their entire very long lives. And then they die.
  6. Water snake people are physically alluring: New Zealand longfin eels are physically alluring—who could possibly disagree with that?
  7. Water snake people are relaxed about money: so are New Zealand longfin eels.
  8. Water snake people are secretive: so are New Zealand longfin eels, who hunt at night with rows of small, sharp, white teeth.

We rest our (shaky) case.
Have we left anything out? If you have any knowledge of Chinese astrology, please help us complete the list.

We have no interest in claiming the yellow-bellied sea snakes that occasionally drift to New Zealand waters from warmer areas. They're all yours, Rest of World!

More recent photos of a giant New Zealand longfin eel, starring Jeremy Wade

Photo of a 1960s (?) eel found on www.bbqporknoodlesoup.com/. Copyright holder unknown.

Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


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