A school of striped eel catfish, commonly known in Israel as “Nasrallah fish” (scientific name: Plotosus lineatus), was spotted on Wednesday in the Gulf of Eilat, exhibiting their spectacular behavior as they gather into a dense ball. (And no, it’s not a Mossad shark in disguise.)
The Nasrallah Fish are found in the Indian Ocean, the western Pacific, and––since 2002––the eastern Mediterranean. They sometimes enter freshwaters in East Africa and Madagascar. They love coral reefs, of which Eilat bay has plenty.
The Nasrallah fish knows how to fight back and inflict pain on an enemy, which explains its name (also because of the whiskers). The Israel Nature and Parks Authority that sent us this lovely video noted that in its natural environment the Nasrallah fish is not dangerous to bathers.