Hagfish Day

If you take a few moments to look at the hagfish, you might wonder why anyone would create a holiday to honor it. It’s a fish that’s considered one of the ugliest aquatic species out there and can produce a slime that’s utterly disgusting. However, this species isn’t entirely devoid of redeemable qualities, so we guess it does deserve its own holiday. A holiday that’s aptly known as Hagfish Day and is celebrated on the third Wednesday of October. So if you have an affinity for hagfish, then feel free to celebrate this holiday.

The History of Hagfish Day

Hagfish Day can be traced back to 2009 when WhaleTime, Inc. founded the holiday to raise awareness about creatures of the sea. Although people naturally want to protect and save “cute” sea creatures, fewer people think about the less attractive sea critters, and they are just as important. All animals matter, so we as human beings should take the time to preserve and protect them—no matter what they look like.

Facts About the Hagfish

If you don’t want to judge the hagfish based on its appearance or the amount of slime it produces, then allow us to present you with some other facts that you can share about this eel. Below are some of the things we learned about the hagfish while researching this holiday. We hope that you enjoy the following facts about these amazing animals.

The Hagfish Has Four Hearts

Yep, you read that right. The hagfish has four hearts. And what’s amazing is that you wouldn’t think it would just by looking at its eel-like shape. But it does. One of the hearts acts as the main pump, and the other three hearts assist that main heart in pumping enough blood through the hagfish’s body.

Hagfish Don’t Have Spines

Hagfish are believed to be the only animals that have a skull but don’t have a spine. They do have a skeleton, but it’s not made out of bones; it’s made out of cartilage—the same material found in human noses. They also don’t have jaws. They eat by moving tooth-like projections horizontally to grab and rip off pieces of food.

Hagfish Have Been Around For A Long Time

Hagfish have been around for millions of years. In fact, researchers have found a fossil hagfish that is over 300 million years old. And judging from the fossil, it doesn’t look like the hagfish has changed very much over the last few hundred million years.

Observing Hagfish Day

Aside from using the hashtag #HagfishDay on your social media accounts, there are other ways to honor this animal. You can visit an aquarium in your area that might have a hagfish exhibit, or you can proactively do your own research and find out more about the humble hagfish.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 16 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
October 15 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
October 18 Wednesday