While you might think nobody can top your Christmas decorating skills, we are pretty sure that this American aquarium just has.
The Tennessee Aquarium has gotten festive by installing a Christmas tree powered by their resident electric eel, Miguel Wattson.
A prized electric eel named Miguel Wattson is being used to light up a Christmas tree connected to his tank.
A special system connected to Miguel’s tank enables his shocks to power strands of lights on a nearby tree.
The electric eel releases low-voltage shocks of electricity when he is trying to find food, which translates to a rapid, dim blinking of the Christmas lights. When he is eating or is feeling excited (or particularly Christmassy), he emits higher voltage shocks which cause much more vibrant flashing.
The electric eel is a South American fish. Interestingly, these fish possess three pairs of abdominal organs that produce electricity. These shocks are used to sense the surrounding environment, detect prey, control their prey’s nervous systems, and to stun them.
Miguel Wattson, unlike most electric eels, has his own Twitter account where he shares quirky tweets generated by his own electricity, with the help of coding from Tennessee Tech University’s iCube centre.
The aquarium hopes that the Christmas tree will spark love and appreciation for the unusual freshwater fish. In a statement about Wattson, centre director Kevin Liska said:
“They combined electrical engineering and emerging business communication to give the eel a voice.”
A video posted to Miguel’s Twitter account displays Miguel shaking in his tank as lights on the nearby tree flash on and off. Get in the Christmas spirit and check it out below:
ICYMI, here’s a video of yours truly attempting to use my discharges to power the lights on a Christmas tree. (SPOILER ALERT ::: Of course I pull it off. My phenomenal cosmic — well, bio-electric — power is basically limitless.) pic.twitter.com/g4r5JPHWoH
— Miguel Wattson TNAQ (@EelectricMiguel) 2 December 2019