Christmas lights illuminate nearly every city across the U.S. every holiday season at tons of events and attractions, but sometimes it all seems a bit repetitive. Not at the Tennessee Aquarium though, because they're powering Christmas lights via electric eel. This sensible means of energy is creative, environmentally-friendly and pretty cool to watch all at the same time.
The Tennessee Aquarium is home to tons of magnificent marine life from alligators to otters and everything in between. There's even an adorable penguin cam. Most notable at the moment, though, is their resident eel, Miguel Wattson (who has his own verified Twitter).
This holiday season, the aquarium is being super economical with their use of natural and renewable energy. They're putting the eel's shocks to good use by utilizing the electric energy to power their Christmas tree lights.
Eels are fascinating creatures that emit electric shocks through their organs, which are made up of electrolytes. The shocks act as a radar to find prey and even control their nervous systems.
Miguel's electricity is harvested through a special system that connects the tank and the tree, converting the energy into useful power. When Mr. Wattson emits his electric shocks, the energy illuminates the Christmas tree that sits right next to his tank.
Miguel emits low-voltage shocks when he is on the hunt for food. Just like we produce endorphins, eels produce high-voltage shocks when they are eating or excited (let's be real, they can go hand-in-hand).
The tree lights up brightly when Miguel is munching away or when something strikes his fancy. You'll notice sudden changes in the tree's lighting, depending on the power of his electricity at that moment.
Nature is truly amazing, right? Come check out this natural phenomenon for yourself before the holidays are over.
For more undersea fun in the South, you can actually dive with sharks in open water at this North Carolina aquarium and you can literally touch jelly fish at this interactive exhibit in the Florida Aquarium.