Visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium have been amped up to see an electric eel that is using its energy to power lights on a Christmas tree.
The eel, named Miguel Wattson, has its tank connected to a specialized system that links the eel’s jolts of electricity to a nearby Christmas tree. The result is a strobe-like effect that increases when the eel is feeding or gets excited.
The shocking contraption was designed by the aquarium’s audio video department, according to a press release.
“Whenever Miguel discharges electricity, sensors in the water deliver the charge to a set of speakers,” said Joey Turnipseed, the aquarium’s audiovisual production specialist. “The speakers convert the discharge into the sound you hear and the festively flashing lights.”
Aquarist Kimberly Hunt said that the eel is irradiated with electricity that helps it feed.
“The rapid, dim blinking of the lights is caused by the constant, low-voltage blips of electricity he releases when he’s trying to find food,” Hunt explained.
The eel also has its own Twitter account that is full of high-energy puns.
OK, so full disclosure, the intensity of the lights reflects the strength of my discharges as detected by sensors in my tank. Still r-eel-y cool, though, don'tcha think?— Miguel Wattson TNAQ (@EelectricMiguel) December 2, 2019