Leonardo DiCaprio got attracted to the unique Kerala fish

Leonardo DiCaprio, who is known for his passion towards the environment, has shared a report about Pathala Eel Loach. The report was published on the Re:Wild portal, an organization dedicated to protecting and restoring biodiversity. The Hollywood actor’s endorsement has brought widespread attention to this fascinating new addition to the world of aquatic life.

The discovery was made by Abraham A, a resident of Kerala’s Alappuzha district, who in October 2020 saw a small snake-like, pink-coloured fish about three centimeters long in the well of his house.

Even though the discovery was made three years ago, it has come to the attention of many people, mainly because of The Revenant actor and dedicated environmental activist.

Researchers from the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) confirmed that the fish belonged to a freshwater species. They named it Pathala eel loach (Pangio pathala) after the Sanskrit word ‘pathala’, meaning ‘under the feet’, as this species is classified as a subterranean fish.

“The jungle is all around us and sometimes a typical day is all it takes to discover a new species. This was the case of Mr Abraham, a local stage director living in the Indian state of Kerala, who discovered a new species of fish while taking a bath,” the Oscar-winning actor wrote on Instagram.

“Hide from light and isolated below the soil surface in the narrow aquifers of the southern Indian state of Kerala, sightless subterranean freshwater fish like the new Pathala eel loach live. Despite this accidental discovery, reaching these fish and uncovering their secrets is no easy task,” he said.

In addition, Leo included a link in his Instagram bio allowing people to learn more about how citizen science in the Indian state of Kerala plays an important role in facilitating researchers’ study of these mysterious underground ecosystems.

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UPDATE: July 21, 2023, 02:00 PM IST