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I'm Dreaming of an Eel-Illuminated Christmas

By Eliza Strickland
Dec 4, 2010 1:28 AMNov 20, 2019 5:43 AM


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When an aquarium in Japan planned their holiday displays for Christmas, they decided to harness the natural talents of one resident: the electric eel. The lights on one small Christmas tree are powered by the eel's natural electricity, which is picked up by two aluminum panels in the tank that act as electrodes. The eel-powered Christmas tree has been a fixture at the aquarium for the past few years, but Reuters reports that this year the aquarium broadened its alternative energy experiment by adding a dancing Santa powered by stomping human feet. As we admire the tree, let's also take a moment to appreciate Kazuhiko Minawa, the inventor of this marvel and a spokesman for the Enoshima Aquarium. He says in the 2008 video below: "If we could gather all the electric eels from all around the world, we would be able to light up an unimaginably large Christmas tree." Oh Mr. Minawa, we can imagine it. Related Content: The Loom: When Love Shocks Not Exactly Rocket Science: Two fish families evolved electric powers by tweaking the same gene Science Not Fiction: How to Conduct the World’s First Electric Fish Orchestra Science Not Fiction: Electric Fish “Plug in” and Turn Their Zapping Into Music

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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