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Celebrate this Christmas season with an electric-eel-controlled Christmas tree [video]

By Shane Graber - Posted Dec 23, 2011 10:00 AM
"Rockin' around the Christmas Tree" just got a little more interesting. To celebrate the season, Living Planet Aquarium in Salt Lake City, Utah created an inventive display that is controlled by the electrical pulses of an electric eel.
Celebrate this Christmas season with an electric-eel-controlled Christmas tree [video]

Rockin' around the Christmas tree!

Electric eels, as you know, produce an electrical current when they move and when they attack prey. They have been know to produce as much as 500 volts and 1 ampere of current (500 watts) in certain situations.

Living Planet Aquarium staff exploited this trait to control a series of Christmas Tree lights in their "Journey To South America" gallery. They placed stainless steel electrodes into the eel tank and used the electricity generated by the movement of the electric eel to power a light sequencer. The sequencer, in turn, rotated through each string of lights when the eel moved.

Terry Smith, Project Manager at Cache Valley Electric commented that "the sequencer takes the voltage the eel produces and operates circuitry that flashes the lights, fast or slow, based on the level of voltage he puts out."

Talk about an electrifying holiday display!

(via Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine)

Author: Shane Graber
Location: Indiana

Shane has kept saltwater tanks for the last 12 years, is a research scientist, lives in northern Indiana, and is a proud Advanced Aquarist staffer.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/.

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