NOV 17, 2015 10:02 AM PST

Here's How Electric Eels Produce Their Electrical Shock

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard
2 5 1247


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
JUL 12, 2018
Videos
JUL 12, 2018
Some Medicines are Made From Animal Toxins
If you’ve spent any time camping or hiking, you’ve probably got a good idea of what animals are dangerous. Snakes and other reptiles that bite
JUL 22, 2018
Videos
JUL 22, 2018
Goodbye to Louisiana
One-fourth of Louisiana’s coastline has already disappeared since just the 1930s. Every hour, Louisiana loses about a football field of land to the s
JUL 23, 2018
Videos
JUL 23, 2018
Can Dark-Colored Eyes See Better?
  Other than health risks associated with certain eye colors, can some colors see better than others? For example, can brown eyes see better than ligh
JUL 26, 2018
Videos
JUL 26, 2018
Most Military Deaths Are Not From Combat
Since 2006, 16,000 military service members have died while on active duty. While some were killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, 72% of those deaths o
JUL 30, 2018
Videos
JUL 30, 2018
Is it Good to Open Your Windows During a Hurricane?
You might’ve heard the idea that opening your windows during a hurricane can reduce the stress on your home’s roof and walls as it’s bein
AUG 06, 2018
Videos
AUG 06, 2018
Could You Be a Memory Champion?
Memorization is a useful tool to learn information that is straightforward and objective. School children memorize the multiplication tables, the alphabet,
Loading Comments...