Sure, Why Not?: Electric Eel Controls Intensity Of Christmas Tree Lights

December 9, 2019

This is a video from the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga of resident electric eel Miguel Wattson controlling the intensity of the lights on the Christmas tree that sits next to his tank (you can also hear an audio response to his electric discharges that sounds like somebody farting into a molded plastic school desk chair). Hey -- you've gotta earn your keep, that's my motto. *tunes in to watch my own dogs on home security cam as they tear a couch cushion apart, and who've proven to be nothing but endless money pits* But they're so cute.

"The rapid, dim blinking of the lights is caused by the constant, low-voltage blips of electricity he releases when he's trying to find food," explained Aquarist Kimberly Hurt. "The bigger flashes are caused by the higher voltage shocks he emits when he's eating or excited."


While navigating and searching for food, electric eels will typically only emit 10 volts of electricity, according to the aquarium. However, electric eels are capable of generating more than 800 volts of electricity. Electric eels will only emit that high of a discharge for defense or when they want to stun prey.

Electricity! That's cool, now if you'll excuse me I just need to wait till my neighbors are in for the night so I can run an extension cord from one of their exterior outlets to power my entire outdoor Christmas display. And, okay, a few inefficient space heaters throughout the house and my hot tub. "How do you live with yourself, GW? Well nice and toasty for one.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks to Irina A, who informed me she just adopted two new kittens, Lucky and Cosmo. That is fantastic news.

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