Underground eel pit turns Kentucky man into TikTok star

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July 1 (UPI) -- An animal-loving Kentucky man is becoming famous on TikTok after converting the basement of his house into an eel pit.

Nick Tobler said he was inspired to create the eel habitat when he and his brother moved into their grandmother's old house in Taylor Mill and he inspected the home's underground rain cistern, which was originally designed to store rainwater for conversion into fresh drinking water.


Tobler said his TikTik account, @CowTurtle, spiked to hundreds of thousands of followers when he started the process of filling the cistern -- which he accesses via a hatch inside the house -- with water, eels and goldfish.

"The very first video I posted was a week before we moved into this house, I see the manhole corner in the corner of my garage, I was like, 'Oh cool, my house comes with a future eel pond,'" Tobler told WWLT-TV.

Tobler said he currently has 11 or 12 American eels in the underground pond, in addition to a few dozen other pets inside the house, including tarantulas, a caiman and an Australian lungfish.

Tobler posts videos showing off his other animals, but his eel pit videos are by far the most popular on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, he said.


"I'm surprised this, specifically, is what did it," Tobler told the Cincinnati Enquirer of his online popularity. "I think I do way cooler stuff."

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