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It's Eel-ectrifying!
By Joe Tepper, December 25, 2010 @ 08:16 AM (EST)
Source: Reuters

We do all sorts of crazy things around the holidays: wake up before dawn to get the best shopping prices, sing carols with our tone-deaf friends, and even put up with relatives that we only see a select few times each year; but an aquarium in Japan has topped it all.

In an effort to keep the holiday's electric bill low, the Kamakura aquarium has found a new environmentally friendly way of lighting its seasonal Christmas display: an electric eel. 

The electric eel -not actually an eel, but a “knifefish”- is well-known for its ability to produce an electric current of up to an amazing 500 volts. With unique organs lined with conductive electrolytes, the eel is able to send a signal from its brain conduct the electric current for defense and predation. Although this behavior is rarely witnessed in natural settings, the Aquarium has been able to capture the natural energy through the aluminum lining of the aquarium tank.

The Japanese aquarium has relied on this natural wonder for the last five years to light its Christmas tree, but this year is also featuring a robotic santa clause powered by the same source. Perhaps, “it is beginning to eel a lot like christmas” after all.



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