June 14, 2024

Positively Shocking!

Zap The electric eel species Electrophorus voltai, found in the Amazon region, discharges 860 volts of electricity – more than any other known animal. –phys.org

You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.

Imagine having the shock power to take down a horse – something many times that of your body weight!  What can do this? Why, the electric eel, of course!

For a long while scientists believed there was only one species of electric eel  – Electrophorus electricus. But lately, they have found two more species!  The one we will review today is of the species Electrophorus voltai.  This marvel of creation can give a whallopping jolt of 860 volts of electricity! While this is not enough to kill a horse outright, it will knock it to the ground.

The electric eel is actually a knifefish. Its elongated body looks more like a wide snake with a long fin on its underside. This fin is what helps it move through the water. Their coloring varies, but typically they are dark gray or brown with a reddish or yellow underbelly. Its wide mouth has several sharp teeth to help it hold onto its food, like shrimp, crabs or even small mammals.

They find their home in the dark and muddy freshwater rivers like the Amazon and Orinoco in South America. Because they are nocturnal, they usually feed during the night. However, their eyesight is poor, so they use what’s called electroreceptors to help them find their food. They can actually send out small electrical pulses so if there are any fish hiding nearby, they are caused to twitch and reveal their hiding place. Then when the eel finds a good meal it sends out the larger, lethal electrical dose that renders their meal helpless.

Electrophorus is a genus of Neotropical freshwater fish from South America in the family Gymnotidae, commonly called electric eels. They are known for their ability to stun their prey by generating electricity.

Three specialized electric organs—the main electrical organ, the Hunter’s organ and the Sachs’ organ—make up about 80 percent of the fish’s body. Its remaining vital organs are tightly packed within the anterior, or front, part of its body.  Once the eel has discharged its full shock, it takes awhile to build back up in the creature’s body again.

This fishy eel is also unique in that it must rise to the surface to gulp air into its mouth, where the blood vessels absorb the oxygen. It does not have lungs, but does need oxygen to survive. It can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh as much at 44 pounds.

The electric eel is also known for its unusual breeding behavior. In the dry season, a male eel makes a nest from his saliva into which the female lays her eggs. As many as 3,000 young hatch from the eggs in one nest. Male electric eels are much smaller than the females. Eels are known to live for about 15 years in the wild.

Well, this very unique creature with its electric hunting abilities is amazing. It would be interesting to see it in action! It causes me to ask, “How do I use up my energy?” Just like the eel has to recharge, we need to recharge by praying and reading God’s Word, so that we can be energized again to share with others.  How does this help you to exercise your faith?


“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thess 5:11 NKJV

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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