The candle fish - Eulahon, Eulahon or Pacific Taleicht - is a small fish of the salmon family, about 23 cm in size, which contains a lot of fat. Despite this name of the fish, it does not glow. But dried fish can burn for a long time without smoking, illuminating everything around with a bright light. In appearance, the candle fish is similar to the Baltic smelt.
Why is the fish called a candle
This small fish from the salmon family is a distant relative of the golomyanka. She lives in the sea, like all salmon. Reproduce returns to freshwater rivers, where it was once born itself. Before breeding, it eats a lot and accumulates fat. The candle fish lives off the Pacific coast of North America from California to Alaska and is called eulahon. There is so much fat in this small fish that if you dry it and stretch the wick inside, you will get a smoothly burning candle, without soot and smoke.
In ancient times, the Indians used this fish to illuminate huts. The Indians of the northwest coast of North America traditionally caught and prepared this fish for future use. Then they were dried in the sun and a piece of string or rag instead of a wick was stretched through the mouth into her belly, and thus candles were prepared.
One of the important advantages of a candle fish is that it is lazy, so you can catch it without nets and rods - just with your bare hands. In the modern world, these fish are no longer used instead of a candle, but their fat is used in medicine, because it is much tastier and more pleasant than cod liver oil. In addition, the fish itself has a pleasant taste, which served to actively catch it and, as a result, to exterminate it.
Currently, the Indians took care of the fish and wrote a petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service, as a result of which the eulahon was included in the list of animals in the United States of America taken under protection. Now this nimble fish, brown on top and white and silver on the bottom, adorns many aquariums in modern apartments.
Varieties of candle fish
In England, there is another candle fish and it is called the sablefish, or coal fish, brought by a close relative of the sea bass and sea ruff, and not salmon and smelt, unlike the eulachon. It is also very greasy and burns very well after being dried.
In Russia, a candle fish is also found - it is called the Caspian lamprey, with the fish considered it is united by common ancestors. Lamprey belongs to the class of cyclostomes, lives in water and feeds on fish. The well-known name "sandworm" is a lamprey larva. Due to its high fat content, this fish is very tasty and at the same time can burn like a candle without even having a wick. Another interesting property of lamprey is its ability to tie into a knot. Unfortunately, like eulahon, she was practically exterminated.