RIP Ale, The World's Alleged Oldest Eel

08/09/2014 11:46 am ET | Updated Aug 10, 2014

This animal reportedly died after a long eelness.

The world’s oldest eel is dead, at least according to Tomas Kjellman, a Swedish man who claims the 155-year-old creature lived in a well at his home in Brantevik until its recent death.

The European eel — known as “Ale" — was purportedly thrown into the well in 1859 by 8-year-old Samuel Nilsson, according to local paper Ystad Allehenda.

When Kjellman’s family purchased the home in 1962, he “knew the housepet was included,” he told The Local.

Kjellman is mourning the loss of the large-eyed animal, saying he has “memories of the eel from when I was a child.”

He says he discovered Ale the eel’s overdue death when, at a recent party, he went to show Ale off to some guests, but uncovered the well and found the eel dead.

European eels typically live between 10 and 15 years, though one plucky female did once live to age 88 in captivity.

If Kjellman’s claims seem fishy to you, though, fear, not. Ale’s body is being sent to Stockholm’s Freshwater Laboratory, where his exact age can be determined once and for eel.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Ale was Swedish for "eel." The Swedish word for eel is "ål."

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