In a painful experiment, a USA researcher found out just how strong the jolts delivered by the fish are. We guess it wasn't that enjoyable since a shock from an electric eel is equivalent to a zap from an electric fence.
Kenneth Catania is a biologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, according to the South China Morning Post, and let a juvenile electric eel shock his forearm. Past year in June 2016, this Vanderbilt University biologist transferred eels from a home aquarium to an experimental chamber to measure the actual power of an eel's zap.
"Results suggest that the main goal of the leaping attack is to strongly deter potential eel predators by briefly causing intense pain", states Catania.
The container allowed his hand to go into the eel's tank and to accurately measure the flow of current through a human arm as the electric eel jumps to attack.
In his study published on Thursday, the researcher reports that electricity peaked at 40 to 50 milliamps. He used a relatively small, 15 inch electric eel for the experiment. After being able to measure the strength of the electrical current, the biologist said this is the key to solve rest of the circuit which means it is now very much possible to estimate the power of shock delivered by eels of various shapes, sizes, and habitat. "We don't know the main drive of the behavior, but they need to deter predators, and I can tell you it's really good at that". What's the resistance of the water?
A similar experiment was once conducted by Prussian geographer, naturalist, explorer - Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt a couple of hundred years ago.
Vanderbilt University professor, quite unsatisfied with his past experiments with electric eels after allowing the one to attack himself said: "It was a safe thing to do because it's a small electric eel". The platypus catches its prey in murky water with its eyes closed by honing in on the electrical impulses emitted by their prey.
Electric rays can produce up to 220 volts. These freshwater animals can stun prey, as large as a horse, using electric organs containing 6,000 electrolyte cells which store power like batteries. Researchers aren't sure what the hornet uses this electricity for, but believe that it could help the animals create enzymes that aid in their metabolism.