How do electric eels get their energy?

How do eels get their shocking abilities?
03 October 2017


Electric eel



How do electric eels get their energy?


Chris Smith answered this shocking question...

Chris - Well, the answer is they use modified muscle cells. They’re called electrocytes and they are strung together along the inside of the fish in the same ways that if you connected a battery end to end, and you connected the plus of one battery to the minus of another the voltages added together. So these electrocyte cells slowly accumulate voltage and over a very big eel you maybe get 500 volts and they’re discharged from just below the chin of the eel and its tail and so, the eel is basically a giant accumulator or battery. And it’s pumping ions of sodium and potassium in and out of these cells to generate those tiny voltages which together, over the course of these thousands of cells, sum to make those hundreds of volts.


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