Watch an Electric Eel Power a Christmas Tree at Tennessee Aquarium

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At the Tennessee Aquarium, in Chattanooga, researchers have connected an electric eel, by the name of Wattson, to a Christmas tree. Every time the eel releases electricity naturally, the Christmas tree lights up and a sound booms from a speaker. The Eel is in an aquarium next to the tree and special sensors make the magic possible.

According to one aquarium employee:

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. The bigger flashes are caused by the higher voltage shocks he emits when he’s eating or excited.

Kimberly Hurt, Employee of Tennessee Aquarium

Electric eels can kill with their electric shocks, which can produce up to 800 volts. However, they also emit small shocks to find pray, much like a radar system. Those shocks are only about 10 volts. Wattson gets so worked up when they drop food in the tank, he starts emitting high voltage shocks to try to stun the food.

Whatever the case, this is some electrifying Christmas spirit. Enjoy!

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