Shocked? Electric eel powers aquarium’s Christmas lights

The Boston Globe 1 week ago

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium may be shocked to learn that an electric eel named Miguel Wattson is lighting up a Christmas tree.

A special system connected to Miguel’s tank enables his shocks to power strands of lights on a nearby tree, according to a news release.

Miguel releases low-voltage blips of electricity when he is trying to find food, aquarist Kimberly Hurt said. That translates to a rapid, dim blinking of the Christmas lights. When he is eating or excited he emits higher voltage shocks, which cause bigger flashes.

Miguel has his own Twitter account, where he shares tweets generated by his sparky self, courtesy of coding by Tennessee Tech University’s iCube center.

In between Miguel’s tweets boasting statements like “SHAZAM!!!!” and “ka-BLAMEROO!!!!!,’’ a video posted to the account shows Miguel shaking in his tank as lights on the nearby tree sputter on and off.

The aquarium hopes the Christmas tree will spark love and appreciation for the unusual freshwater fish.

associated press


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Business Insider › Lifestyle › 1 week ago
The Tennessee Aquarium connected the tank of its electric eel Miguel Wattson to a Christmas tree to allow the eel's shocks to set the strength of the tree's lights. It mostly produces dim blinking lights, but the aquarium said bigger flashes are...
The New York Times › 1 week ago
Visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium may be shocked to learn that an electric eel named Miguel Wattson is lighting up a Christmas tree.
Fox News › 1 week ago
An electric eel named Miguel Wattson is shocking visitors at the Tennessee Aquarium by using its blips of electricity to power Christmas tree lights.
ABC News › 1 week ago
The Tennessee Aquarium is using an electric eel named Miguel Wattson to light up a Christmas tree
CNN › Traveling › 1 week ago
Miguel Wattson, an electric eel that resides in the Tennessee Aquarium's Rivers of the World gallery, not only tweets from his account, which currently has more than 38,000 followers -- he earns his keep by powering a Christmas tree at the aquarium.
Washington Examiner › 1 week ago
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.
CBS Local › 1 week ago
An aquarium in Tennessee is hoping to shock visitors this holiday season with an electric eel that lights up a Christmas tree.
UPI › 1 week ago
A Tennessee aquarium is harnessing the power of an electric eel to illuminate the lights on a Christmas tree placed next to its tank.
The Week › 1 week ago
The Tennessee Aquarium thinks people will be shocked once they learn how an electric eel named Miguel Wattson is connected to a strand of Christmas lights. Miguel Wattson releases low-voltage discharges when he is looking for food, and higher ones when...
USA Today › 1 week ago
Visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium may be shocked to learn that an electric eel named Miguel Wattson is lighting up a Christmas tree.
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