NOV 17, 2015 10:02 AM PST

Here's How Electric Eels Produce Their Electrical Shock

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


Almost everyone alive today knows about the electric eel. It's a very interesting animal with the ability to send a potentially lethal shock to the body of anyone that messes with it. Electric eels use their abilities for hunting prey, as well as for self-defense. They also use a low-voltage mode that works for hunting - the electric abilities help them find prey.

But how does the electric eel deliver an electric shock to its victim, and what gives them the ability to harness electricity, and not us?

As it turns out, electric eels have a very special type of muscle cell in their bodies known as electrocytes that are negatively charged on the inside and positively charged on the outside. These cells are stacked together in such a way that they act as a type of battery; in fact, some batteries have been modeled off of these stacked cells.

Electric eels also have a positively charged head and a negatively charged tail, and they take advantage of this by bringing their tail closer to their heads to generate their electrical currents.

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 27, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Our Chemistry Connection to Stars and the Cosmo
NOV 27, 2020
Our Chemistry Connection to Stars and the Cosmo
A common entity that connects everything from majestically looking galaxies and nebula to the enormously diversified bio ...
DEC 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
DEC 10, 2020
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
"Murder hornets," more commonly known as giant hornets, might be new to North America, but in their native ran ...
FEB 10, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Do Salt and Melting Ice Cause Landslides on Mars?
FEB 10, 2021
Do Salt and Melting Ice Cause Landslides on Mars?
Recurrent slope lineae (RSL) are dark flows that extend downhill on Mars to form sandy patterns on its surface. Research ...
MAR 31, 2021
Plants & Animals
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
MAR 31, 2021
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
Beachgoers are certainly not fond of jellyfish in the water, but seeing hundreds of them wash ashore is an interesting a ...
JUN 21, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Detect Signatures of Life on Earth Remotely
JUN 21, 2021
Scientists Detect Signatures of Life on Earth Remotely
An international team led by researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland and the National Centre of Competenc ...
OCT 29, 2021
Health & Medicine
Can Playing Tetris Help Patients with PTSD?
OCT 29, 2021
Can Playing Tetris Help Patients with PTSD?
Intrusive memories are one of the most harmful symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Intrusive thoughts a ...
Loading Comments...