A hagfish and its slime. Photo: ANDRA ZOMMERS/UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH
A hagfish and its slime. Photo: ANDRA ZOMMERS/UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH

Threads made from the slimy mucus of a hagfish might lead to new technologies in fibers, scientists have found. The hagfish, a marine animal that is shaped like an eel, emits a large amount of mucus from its slime pores when it is threatened. The mucus gets caught in the gills of its predators. A study from the University of Guelph in Canada shows that threads made from this mucus are so strong and stretchy that they could make for the perfect fiber for parachutes or packaging materials that need both strength and flexibility.