Spirit Magazine - September 2013 - (Page 37)
PHoTograPHY © Ben WeLSH/CorBIS
That’s about 600 volts—or five times
the electricity you’ll get from a wall
socket. How does such a slowmoving fish unleash all that energy?
“It has specialized organs that contain
thousands of electrically excitable
cells, each of which can produce 100
to 150 millivolts,” says Bruce Carlson,
a biology professor at Washington
University in St. Louis. “When the eel
feels threatened or is hunting prey, it
triggers all of the cells simultaneously,
creating a surge capable of lighting
up a Christmas tree.” Despite what
you’ve seen in cartoons, there is no
glow involved, only subtle twitches.
You’d be twitchy, too, if you were
habitually misidentified. It turns out
the electric eel isn’t an eel at all—it’s
a knifefish. Shocking, right?
september 2013 spirit
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Spirit Magazine - September 2013
Gary's Greeting en Español
Star of the Month
From the Editor
Eat Drink Sleep
"Are You Famous Amos?"
Products and Services
Rapid Rewards Partners
The "If" List
Spirit Magazine - September 2013