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.
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