The “eel“ that is not really an eel

The wolf eel is not an eel at all but one of five “wolffish“ species, having paired gill slits and pectoral fins. These long, skinny fish can grow quite large, reaching up to 2.5m (8.2 ft) long. These coldwater marine fish can be found hiding in the caves, crevices, and rocky reefs along North America’s Pacific coast, from Baja California, Mexico north to Kodiak Island, Alaska. You can also find wolf eels on the east coast of Russia and south to the Sea of Japan.

This fascinating species is touted as one of the ugliest fish in the sea. They are clearly distinguishable by their round, blunt heads, protruding lower jaw, and menacing-looking teeth. Wolf eels have extremely powerful jaws and love to eat hard-shelled animals like sea urchins, crabs, and sand dollars. Unique to the fish world, wolf eels mate for life, and the monogamous pair can usually be found hiding in their den together. To find out where you can see wolf eels on your next dive, explore the dive site map below!