This Alligator Will Die From 860 Volts
In order to survive you either got ta, get fast, get hiding or get creative one creature, thats developed a shocking, but effective defense mechanism is none other than the electric eel able to spontaneously generate high voltage pulses of electricity. So what do you think happens when a vicious predator, like the cayman, the amazons equivalent of a crocodile, tries to take a bite out of an electric eel? Will it get the shock of its life, or is it lights out for the cranky cayman? If you ever put a 9 volt battery on your tongue, youll know that electricity tastes terrible theres. Also that unpleasant painful jolt in your mouth kind of like licking an electric fence, now imagine ramping that battery up from 9 volts all the way to 860 volts and youre, starting to get an idea just how much biting an electric eel sucks. So how do electric eels deliver such a powerful shock? What can that much electricity do to a human being and did the cayman make it out alive? Youll have to stick around to find out electrophorus electricus, otherwise known as the electric eel is a curious fish. Despite having the word eel in its name and looking exactly like one theyre, not eels at all, in fact, theyre part of the gymnodaformys family of knife fish and are more closely related to a catfish or carp than a traditional eel up until 2019. It was believed there was only one species of electric eel that was before an expedition found and classified two more species.
Electrophorus vary and electrophorus voltai growing up to eight feet, long and weighing as much as 44 pounds youll find electric eels throughout the northeast of south america, including the amazon and orinoco river basins. They love lurking through slow, moving freshwater, creeks and swamps, using their secret superpower to stun and kill their diet of fish, shrimp amphibians and sometimes even small mammals. For centuries, the indigenous tribes of venezuela called the electric eel arimna, or something that deprives you of motion to catch. These slimy sparky treats tribesmen used to drive herds of wild horses into the eel infested ponds. The horses hooves would churn up the mud and bring all the eels to the service where they would leap out of the water and attack. The tribesmen would wait until the swarm of rapidly discharging eels had run out of juice before jumping in and catching one or two for dinner. This technique was witnessed by prussian explorer alexander von humboldt, who, in 1800 became utterly fascinated by this mystical creature in a remote rainforest, village in venezuela, called locianos alexander set up a series of crude experiments to test the strength of the electric eels shock. Now, when i say crude, i mean crude, there were no voltmeters or amperage meters. Humboldt would simply grab the eel and, objectively rate, the power of each electric jolt after four hours of experiments and some seriously shocking blasts. Alexander reported that his muscles ached well into the next day.
Despite knowing that electric eels packed a seriously heavy electric punch, it would be at least a hundred years before scientists would figure out how they did it. The secret to an electrics eels, shocking talent, lies in three pairs of specialized organs throughout their abdomen theres. The main organ which spans half the dorsal section of the eel hunters organ, which runs the length of the eels underbelly and sax organ, which makes up the dorsal part of the eels tail. These organs contain hundreds of thousands of modified muscle cells, called electrocytes, arranged in perfect rows, similar to the cells of a battery. The organization and stacking of these electrocytes allows a current of charged ions to flow through them building current as it charges up, electric eels also use the electrocytes in their sax organ, to emit a steady stream of weak electric pulses to create a field around themselves. This field is used for communication and active electrolocation, their way of seeing in their dark murky environment. So how do electric eels use these two voltage attacks to take down prey or defend themselves from predators after sensing a disturbance in the water electric eels emit two or three strong pulses as much as 860 volts? These high voltage pulses act like a taser hijacking, the animals nervous system causing the prey to violently twitch in the water. This sudden movement generates waves that reveals the animals hiding place. This all happens very quickly. Eels are able to temporarily stun fish in less than three one thousandths of a second.
Once the prey is immobilized. The electric eel can swallow its meal whole. Oh and if thats not terrifying enough by curling up the electric eel can actually make the discharges even more intense by overlapping the electric fields generated at each end of the electric organ youre, not just in danger in the water either. Electric eels are known for leaping out of the water pressing their chin on you for an even more intense shock. So why is this? When an eel is completely submerged? The current is conducted by the water closing the loop when they leap out of the water and press their chin, the positive pole against their target. The electrical current is forced to travel through the body of the target to reach the negative pole. The end result an even bigger shock scientists measured this in an experiment using a prosthetic arm fitted with electricity sensors that lit up when activated when the arm was placed into the tank. The eel leapt out of the water causing the highest discharge from just underneath its chin. How were you at handling electric shocks? Music? Are you brave enough to swim with an electric eel? Let us know in the comments below so we know electric eels regularly take down small fish, but what about larger animals? Curious dogs are no match for the static charge of an electric eel. In fact, one shock sends this german shepherd, whimpering Applause, but its the amazon caiman, who finds itself often tussling with the electric eel, and it can be a flip of the coin, who comes off second best.
Sometimes the warning pulses of an electric eel stop the cayman dead in its tracks. The ravenous reptile convulsing, violently for a few seconds before regaining his composure and making a run for it other times its not so lucky. If a cayman manages to get a decent bite on the eel as the high voltage shocks are discharged, his jaw clamps shut and the pair are locked in a shocking stalemate. Every one of the caymans muscle fibers spasm uncontrollably before the reptiles heart finally gives out. So could an electric eel kill a human being weve long been testing how powerful an electric eel shock is and, despite being mildly, unpleasant in a laboratory setting there doesnt seem to be much harm to wiring yourself to an eel or touching one in a tank. While there are reports of people in south america, drowning in shallow water after being shocked by an electric eel to date, no one has officially been declared as being killed by an electric eel. So maybe you could handle one electric eel, but just when you start thinking about going for a swim in a venezuelan swamp. Think again, a recent research expedition in the amazon discovered that electric eels actually hunt in large packs and work together to deliver a supercharged volt of energy to attack and disable their prey up to 100 eels form a massive prey: ball, circling their prey and repeatedly shocking Them with insanely massive amounts of energy, i think ill stick to the beach its easy to see why electric eels are called the taser of the amazon.
This slippery shocker is more than just an annoying zap of static electricity unless youre a fan of electro torture. Its probably best to stay out of the water thanks for watching.