A disgusting scene unfolded on US 101 on Thursday when a truck full of “slime eels” overturned, shedding its slimy and gooey load all over the highway. Five cars were involved in the resulting pileup as they skidded on the goo, while fish were thrown over vehicles and the road.

'Slime eels' are actually hagfish

Slime eels” are not eels – they are actually hagfish. According to a report by Oregon Live, while the fish do have a skull, they have no spine or jaw. The reason for their rather disgusting name is that the fish secrete slime when they are distressed, hence the nickname “slime eels.” The marine creatures were certainly distressed when the truck turned over, spewing them all over the road.

According to the Oregon State Police, there were around 7,500 pounds of the slimy, smelly fish – from a total of thirteen containers – laying everywhere. The slime was coating and dripping from the crashed vehicles. What made things worse was that not only was there slime and fish everywhere, it reportedly also smelled pretty bad.

Korean delicacy causes major work for the Oregon State Police

While the fish look pretty disgusting, it seems they are a popular delicacy in Korea, which is where they were supposed to be heading. However, as reported by the New York Daily News, the truck driver, Salvatore Tragale, suddenly came across a traffic jam caused by road construction and reportedly couldn’t stop his truck in time.

The result was the screeching of brakes, followed by containers of “slime eels” going airborne, sloshing their contents into the southbound lane and causing a chain reaction which led to the five-car pileup.

Luckily only one driver was slightly injured from the crash. Otherwise, everyone else was fine, other than the disgusting slimy sight surrounding them.

The "slime fish" naturally didn't make it, however, as they cannot survive outside the salt water in which they were traveling.

Clean up on US 101

It was then up to the Oregon Department of Transportation, with the help of the Depoe Bay Fire District, to hose all the slime and dead fish off the highway.

This led US 101 to be closed for several hours, finally reopening around 4 p.m. Workers then had the dubious pleasure of cleaning up all the dead hagfish that had been hosed on to the roadside, which took until late afternoon.

Have a look at the horrendously slimy task that faced the Oregon Department of Transportation and the fire fighters in the video below.

Meanwhile a spokesperson for the Oregon State Police said charges are pending for Tragale for not stopping in time and causing such an awful slimy mess.

Anyone interested in learning more about hagfish can "enjoy" the video included below. It turns out the horrific creatures – which look like something straight out of the “Alien” movies – are the clean-up solution of the ocean.