The truth about Moray Eels – How dangerous are they Really?

Do you know how many people die from moray eel attacks every year?

No one does, because frankly, the statistics about how many people choke and die while eating them are kinda fuzzy! As far as I know, that’s the only way moray eels kill humans, and if that’s the case…...good! Humans kill them, they return the favor……. seems pretty fair to me!

These toothy beauties are supposedly the things of nightmares …..

What….the…...faaaaaaa…..Are you kidding me! You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve taken diving who are scared of these amazing slithering legends. What kind of pee brain source are people getting their information from? What ever, or who ever it is, if your scared of morays, you need to do yourself a favor and unsubscribe quick.

Is it because as a child the mean larger evil mermaid from the little mermaid had a couple of them that scared you ?

Scuba divers figured out long ago that if you want to see alienesque life forms, all you gotta do is gear up and get your ass under the water. Moray eels are one of those so called “monsters” that we have come to fall in love with.

Where do you think they got the double Jaw idea for the aliens in the movie alien? Morays have two sets of jaws so they can lock on to their pray with deadly grip….. or your thumb if your a big enough arse sticking your mits up in it's grill. Keep your hands to ya self and you’ll be alright! Like most animals, if you don’t F with them ....... surprise surprise, they won’t F with you. I’m certainly apposed to fucking around with wild animals, but If I had to pick a fight with another species, I’d prefer that it only has one jaw!

Just look at this clip of Valerie Tailor….

Now, I am in no way shape or form saying this is proper etiquette to interact with them, but when I dove with her last year at the age of 84, I certainly had my eye towards finding a large moray to recreate this.…..In fact we did find one, and Valerie is no longer with us….... I’m only joking…. She is still as badass as in this clip and after meeting her there is not a single grain of doubt in my mind that another encounter like this is still in the cards for her. I don't care how environmentally conscious you are, you can not honestly say this doesn't look like fun!

Speaking of old age and Morays int he same breath - This is one of my all time favorite, I call her Granny, due to her lack of chompers!

Diving with Morays isn’t like the above video may suggest. They don’t come racing out of their crevasse in the reef and charge you, well sometimes, but that’s a next paragraph thing. 99% of the time, they are just chillin out in the reef, head sticking out like a dog sticking its head out of a window. What’s so scary about a dog sticking its head out of a window?

Sure, I’ve been attacked by a moray before, and I don’t blame it at all for doing so. In Roatan, just like in many other Caribbean Islands, some people got this "brilliant" idea to start feeding lionfish to morays as a way to deal with the issue of invasive species. The logic being, if the morays start eating lionfish maybe the problem starts to disappear…. Well, what do you think that does to ol Mr.Moray?

He gets confused when he sees scuba divers and starts looking at them like Uber eats delivery drivers.

When you're hungry and the delivery driver, in this case a scuba diver, ain’t got the food you were expecting, how happy are you gonna be?

- Blast from the past, rookie photo from 2014 Roatan - These are the eels being fed lionfish.


As a photographer, these dudes are some of the best subjects to find on the reef. Sharp teeth, big facial expressions, beautiful patterns and colors and there is just something about the way they move. One of their favorite moves is the repeated AWWWWWWW, where the eels keeps opening and closing their mouth. Sure they're just trying to get some water through their gills, but it's fun to imagine that they are singing some kinda Pavarotti tune or repeatedly telling you to fuck awwwwwwwwwwwf.

Morays also got loads of cousins slummin' around their neck of the reef. Ribbon, Garden, Snake eels and more are all close relatives that don't impose much. They've found areas that best suit their skills and talents and leave team moray to do what team moray does best. Scare the shit out of uneducated divers!

All jokes aside, Morays are some pretty gnarly animals. Alien faces and slicker moves than Michael Jordan, these guys are true All-Stars of the marine world.

At the end of the day it's all very simple.

Why shouldn’t you be afraid of morays….. Like all predatory animals, they know what they like to eat, and they like to eat fish, unfortunately full of mercury, octopus, mollusks, squids and crabs............ NOT humans full of bull shit!

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