AT ENOSHIMA AQUARIUM in Kanagawa, Japan, an electric eel is serving as an energy-saving power source this Christmas.
In the aquarium lobby, a Christmas tree is lit from power generated by the eel as it swims in a nearby freshwater tank. Each time the eel moves, it generates up to 800 watts of electricty. That electricity is conducted by aluminum electrodes in the tank and channeled to the nearby tree.
Visitors can watch the eel swim about while the connected Christmas tree lights blink on and off. Even small movements from the eel generates flickering on the tree, which stands at about five feet.
Creator and aquarium spokesman Kazuhiko Minawa is proud of the creation. Though the humble flickering of the lights is hardly breathtaking, he’s ready to take his innovation and run with it.
In marvelous Clark Griswold fashion, he says that if he could channel the electricity of every eel in the world, it could light…. one really huge Christmas tree. Eyes on the prize.