Gallery: World’s First Christmas Tree Powered by an Eel!


This time of year, holiday lights are sucking up power from the grid in enormous proportions – but that’s not the case with one very special Christmas Tree in Japan. Housed in an aquarium, this nifty holiday tree‘s lights are hooked up to an aluminum electrode inside the tank of an electric eel. Every time the eel moves, it sends an 800 watt zap through the water and makes the lights sparkle. Certainly odd, but hey, it works! See a video of it after the jump.

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The Enoshima Aquarium believes they are the first in the world to have an electric eel-powered Christmas tree and we are tempted to believe them. This wacky idea does make us a little sad in practice because the tank the eel is in isn’t all that large — hopefully his regular home is bigger — but we suppose it isn’t so bad to use his nature-given gifts to give a little joy to passersby.

The tree also has an annoying singing Santa and a mat nearby that allows visitors to help the eel generate electricity for the tree by running — or dancing — in place. The inventor of the eel-powered tree seems to have grand visions of where his gadget will go in the future. “If we could gather all the electric eels from all around the world, we would be able to light up an unimaginably large christmas tree. I’d love to see the huge flash of light it made on the Earth, from somewhere else in the universe, ” he said in an interview. Though we’d have to say we’d rather see the eels stay happy in their natural habitat, we admire his ambition.



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  1. Jasmine Harrison December 18, 2012 at 10:20 am

    i wonder how many of these suckers i would need in order to power my whole house??? ^_^

  2. sinsro December 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Bogus, electric eels does not produce electricity all the time, it’s a defense mechanism.

  3. mango December 24, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    cute. likely fake.

    iirc, eels only produce electricity during attack/defence. not every movement. likely just hooked the tree up to a battery w/ a motion sensor. also notice the power-generating mat upon which visitors can step.

  4. metis December 22, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    there’s a few of these kicking around, i seem to recall one a few years back as well. pretty slick from a education standpoint.

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