Missing head of old eel found in freezer

7:30 min

Scientists in Sweden can now begin work on verifying the age of an eel which is thought to have lived down a well for 155 years. The breakthrough was made on Tuesday after the eel's head was found in a freezer.    

"The world's oldest European eel", which was said to have been dropped into a well in 1859, was found dead in the southern town of Brantevik last week when the well owners removed the lid to show it off to visitors.  

However, only the body of the eel was recovered by the owner and scientists told him that they needed the head to determine the correct age of the eel.  

On Tuesday morning, Johan Wagnström, a fisheries officer with the County Administration Board of Skåne, was given the smelly job of going down the well to find the missing head.

He tells Radio Sweden, that after a fruitless search, he went back to the freezer where the body of the dead eel was stored, and found the missing skull. 

"I went to look at the frozen eel one more time and found at the side of the eel I found the skull bone and hopefully the otoliths, which can measure the age of the eel, are there in the skull."

The skull has been sent to experts in Stockholm but it will be around a month before the results will be published. However, there is still one eel living down a neighbouring well, which is said to be 110 years of age.