The eel’s vital organs are located immediately behind the head — the other 7/8 of its body is tail, containing the organ that generates the electricity.
The eel’s electrically generating organ is composed of 5000-6000 elements, arranged like a dry battery. The head acts as the positive pole of the battery, the tail as the negative pole.
In 1777, an Italian became the first scientist to identify a certain eel as female. Ninety-five years later, another scientist found out how to identify an eel as male. Baffling problem. Though not for the eels.
Some claim that the eel is so chemically sensitive to alcohol that it could detect a teaspoonful stirred into Lake Superior. I need proof!
An electric eel can crank out 600 volts — about five times more shocking power than a household outlet.
A human can withstand one discharge, but would not survive several.
An electric eel can grow up to 91 inches long.
The electric eel is found in the Amazon Basin, in marshy areas or stagnant arms of rivers — areas where other fishes find it difficult to live because of the deficiency of dissolved oxygen.
Electric eels can fatally electrocute a horse.
When the eel is at rest there is no generation of electricity, but when it starts to move it emits electrical impulses at the rate of about 25/sec.
When the eel is engaged in intense feeding, electrical discharges of up to 50/sec have been recorded.
Because it lives at dim depths, the electric eel’s eyes are very small.
In captivity, electric eels furnish a challenge to their keepers. Aquarium keepers wear thick rubber gloves whenever they must handle the eels. They even wear the gloves when cleaning the outside of the eel tanks, just in case one becomes disgruntled by the cleaning! Water is a good conductor of electricity and one unhappy eel could give the aquarium keeper a “shocking experience.”
Did you know...
Although lighter than humans, chimpanzees have a pull five to six times stronger.