Hilarious ‘Pulitzer-worthy’ NYT headline hailed as best in paper’s 170-year history
Shutterstock / AdrianNunez

A New York Times headline has gone viral— and people are saying it’s not only Pulitzer worthy, but perhaps the best in the paper’s 170-year history.

The science story detailed more moray eels have the ability to hunt on land, and demonstrated their ability to climbs a ramp to eat pieces of squid in lab tests.

Somewhere deep in the NYT newsroom, an online sub-editor chewed their pencil, and came up with this masterpiece:

“When an Eel Climbs a Ramp to Eat Squid from a Clamp, That’s a Moray.”

Take a bow.

Naturally, people took to Twitter to hail the writing prowess of the pun, which riffed on the lyrics of That’s Amore by Dean Martin.

“Next-level headline writing skills. NYT headline editor for the win,” someone said.

“I am cracking up at the headline and while reading @aznfusion’s latest for NYT Science. Their wit, curiosity, and knowledge are a treasure,” another added.

Someone else even came up with a clever rendition of a headline for this moment, saying, “NYT editor resigns in despair over futility of continuing after career-defining headline.”

The NYT story itself chronicles a research study and video footage of moray eels conducted by Dr. Rita S. Mehta, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz , and colleagues.

Moray eels have the ability to hunt on land. Dr. Mehta also notes that their outermost layer of skin has specific mucous glands that make them resilient enough to be on land.

Eric Shingle, a Senior Editor for The Athletic College Football, tweeted that alongside the ingenious headline, the story’s real hero is Benjen.

Benjen is an eel who is twice as long as Qani, the longest eel in the study, and eventually refused to scale the ramp for the measured pieces of squid that all the other trained eels received.

Benjen would only go for squid chunks bigger, which caused one of the paper reviewers to want to remove him from the statistical component of the paper.

And in the words of Dr. Mehata, “he’s the star of the lab.”

Check out more reactions below to the creative headline.

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