My friend the Sea Lamprey

Researchers are using ground up dead sea lampreys to ward off living lampreys

Sea Lampreys are bad news.

They’re a parasite that latches onto the side of fish, using their alien-like suction cup mouth to break down skin and feast on blood. They’re just a minor annoyance to whales and sharks and other massive creatures in the oceans, which is where lampreys are typically found. But they’re not just in the oceans anymore. Somehow they made their way into the Great Lakes. And they’re causing some serious damage.

Of course I had to cover them for the show Great Lakes Wild. They’re one of the worst invasive species we’ve got in the lakes, with thousands of them being trapped each day.¬†One sea lamprey can kill up to 40 lbs of fish in its lifetime! Plus, just look at them – they’re creepy and look like a monster out of a horror movie.

And yet, for some reason, I thought they were actually pretty fun, and after our researcher latched one onto his forehead, I just had to know what that felt like.

Don’t worry, they can’t break down warm blooded skin, just cold blooded, so it’s not actually dangerous. It felt more like a weak vacuum cleaner sucking onto my arm. No pain! And a story to tell the grandkids one day.

Whatever, they're still cool!

They're 3 times more powerful than a hoover!

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