Geek Out

Electric Eel-Powered Christmas Trees Are Shockingly Better Than Yours

Everybody loves a nice pretty string of Christmas lights, but they’re not exactly thrilling. So how do you jazz up the ol’ tree? Power it with trapped electric eels. It’s like spending the holiday at a James Bond villain’s house!

The Enoshima Aquarium in Japan is at the forefront of the eel-powered tree scene. As an aquarium spokesman notes, each eel generates 800 watts of juice as it floats around. So, in a nice move that’s both eco-friendly and a display of humanity’s ability to dominate the rest of the food chain, the place’s 2008 Christmas tree was lit by eel power—two slithery specimens shocking their way around an electrode-equipped tank. It’s a great idea—but the tank’s inventor has bigger plans. Much bigger plans. Ominously bigger plans:

“If we could gather all the electric eels from all around the world, we would be able to light up an unimaginably large christmas tree. I’d love to see the huge flash of light it made on the Earth, from somewhere else in the universe.”

Greatest aquarium in the world, or plans for some sort of eel-based super weapon? Hard to say.

The aquarium has seriously stepped it up this year—though they did fail to round up literally every electric eel in the world.

Instead, they’re compensating with dancing Santas, visitor-generated electricity, more eels, multiple trees, and a tower of wine glasses with jellyfish inside. THIS is how you get people interested in science—aquariums in the rest of the world, please take note. [Discovery]

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