Christmas lights - powered by an Electric eel!


For five years in a row, a Japanese aquarium has put up a shocking display for Christmas. The Enoshima Aquarium in Kamakura, just south of Tokyo, has been using an Electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) to light up a Christmas tree during the holiday season.

Two aluminium panels in the tank serve as electrodes, causing a two-metre tall Christmas tree to light up in intermittent flashes whenever the eel moves. Check out the video below:

This year, the eel is joined by a robotic Santa Claus, who is activated to sing and dance whenever visitors stomp on an electric floor pad (the pad also helps light up the tree).

According to Kazuhiko Minawa, a member of the aquarium’s public relations team that designed and built the display: "We first decided to get an electric eel to light up a Christmas tree and its top ornament using its electricity. As electric eels use their muscles when generating a charge, we also thought to get humans to use their muscles to light up parts of the tree".

The display was put up by the aquarium to encourage ecological sensitivity among its visitors.