Claire Corlett

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When Electric Eels Attack

When Electric Eels Attack


From its ability to produce electricity to
a number of people who’ve suffered its powerful shock, this is what happens when electric
eels attack. Today’s video was requested by Crazy Wright. If you have any other topics you’d like to
learn about, subscribe and let us know in the comments section below. Number 5 Kenneth Catania
About two hundred years ago, Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt went to South America. He wanted to capture electric eels so his
party used horses to corner them in the water. In his subsequent notes, von Humboldt wrote
that the eels leapt out of the water to shock the horses and that some of the animals died
in process. Biologists who came across his observation
believed it to be a myth. Then, biologist Kenneth Catania, a researcher
at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee made a remarkable discovery. In 2016 he confirmed, what von Humboldt had
noted centuries prior, that electric eels are indeed capable of leaping attacks. In his research Catania also subjected himself
to being shocked by an electric eel. The experiment was carried out in a specialized
tank and the eel reared out of the water and attacked his arm. He described the shock as an effective deterrent
and measured the current flowing through his arm at 40 to 50 milliamps. Catania used a small eel in the experiment
but calculated that larger creatures might deliver up to 250 milliamps. In our next listing we take a look at how
electric eels can remotely control their prey, but before we get to that let’s explore
the physiology of these fascinating creatures. Electrophorus electricus, commonly known as
the electric eel, is a South American fish with a cylindrical, elongated body that can
grow up to 8 feet long. Three pairs of abdominal organs, which account
for most of its mass, are responsible for the eel’s ability to produce electricity. These organs are made up of thousands of muscle-like
cells called electrocytes. They’re lined up in such a way that ion
current can flow through them and stacked so that each can activate the other, contributing
to a potential difference. It’s similar to the way batteries work inside
a flashlight. The eel’s brain will send a signal through
its nervous system to the electrocytes causing the ion channels to open up. It’s the sudden difference in electric potential
that produces electric current and the entire process takes a few milliseconds. The electric eel can generate both low voltage
and high voltage electric discharges but it’s not fully understood how it doesn’t shock
itself. Favored theories have to do with built-up
resistance and that the organs work in a circuit that keeps the eel internally safe. Before we continue with our list, answer this
question. Even though it’s commonly referred to as
an “eel”, Electrophorus electricus is actually a type of…
a. Sea snake
b. Stingray
c. Knifefish
d. Catfish
Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned to find out the
right answer. Number 4 Remote Control of Prey
As previously mentioned, eels generate both low and high voltage discharges. The former is used as radar for locating prey
in the water. They can also use electrical current to manipulate
a victim’s nervous system and muscles. The manner in which they basically remote
control their prey is by sending pairs of high voltage pulses in the water. They emit these doublets in areas where they
can’t find the exact location of potential meals. The pulses will cause massive twitches in
their prey and may remotely activate all the muscles in its body at once, thus making it
reveal its location. The electric eel senses the twitch and will
emit a string of high voltage pulses to stun or incapacitate its victim. Up next, a Brazilian fisherman uses himself
as bait to catch an electric eel but first let’s see where we can find these creatures. Electric eels are freshwater fish found in
South America, in the basins of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers. They typically inhabit the murky bottoms of
calm or stagnant waters in creeks, floodplains, swamps or coastal plains. Electric eels are predators that will use
their infamous shocks to take out fish, amphibians or small mammals, such as rats. They’re also known to display a rather odd
breeding behavior. During the dry season, the female will lay
its eggs in a nest that the male has made from his saliva. Another little-known aspect about electric
eels is that they’re mouth breathers. Their vascularized respiratory system requires
oxygen. Every ten minutes or so, the eel will rise
to the surface for a breath of air, before returning to the bottom. Number 3 Brazilian Fisherman
A clip that has generated a lot of attention online shows a Brazilian fisherman using his
own body as bait to capture an electric eel. He nervously enters a mud pool with a rope
wrapped around his body. An electric eel then shocks the man who begins
to shout at his friends. They then start dragging him out of the water
with the electric eel still attached to his body. Coming up next, a caiman gets dealt with and
we learn more about a fascinating electric eel attack tactic. But first, let’s find out how this creature
can kill you. Attacks on humans are rare and typically represent
a form of defensive behavior. The shock of an electric eel is enough to
stun or deter basically any animal. Electrophorus electricus can generate up to
660 volts of current throughout its body that’s transferred to its victim. The attack has been compared to being shot
by a stun gun. Unless you’re suffering from a severe heart
condition, it’s unlikely that the shock itself will kill you. It would likely take prolonged exposure and
repeated discharges from multiple eels to kill someone with electricity alone. That being said, the jolt from a single electric
eel may incapacitate the person long enough for them to drown. For humans, that’s where the true dangers
of electric eels lie since the voltage can be felt for some distance from the creature
itself. Number 2 Coiling Behavior
A viral YouTube clip, which has over 14 million hits, shows what happens when a caiman attacks
an electric eel. A Brazilian fisherman had caught the eel and
was pulling it out of the water, when the crocodile leapt ashore. Moments after the reptile had sunken its teeth
in, the electric eel delivered a full force shock. In the video the caiman start stiffening up
before going limp. Subsequent reports claimed that both animals
died in the exchange. Research has revealed that the electric eel
can bend its body to increase the intensity of the shock it delivers. By curling its body into a U shape, the eel
aligns the positive and negative poles of its electric field. It employs this technique when it hunts as
well. The eel will typically give out an initial
shock to stun its prey. It will then seize the victim and sandwich
it between its head and its body. Measurements indicate that through a curling
attack an eel can more than double its electrical output. Before we move on to what’s literally the
most shocking creature in the animal kingdom, let’s go over how you can survive an electric
eel attack. As it’s usually the case with dangerous
animals, your best bet is avoiding these creatures all-together. Refrain from swimming or even fishing in water
known for the presence of electric eels. If you’ve been shocked and have trouble
breathing or regaining your composure, contact a medical professional immediately. If someone you know is attacked, do not approach
them or touch their body while they’re still in contact with the eel. Handling this creature should only be done
using materials that aren’t electrically conductive. You should make sure the eel is gone before
attempting to pull the shock victim out of the water. Call for help and, if needed, perform CPR
on them until emergency services arrive on the scene. So, what is Electrophorus electricus if not
an actual eel? The right answer was c, a type of knifefish. These creatures belong to the Gymnotiformes
order and get their common name from being shaped like a knife. Electrophorus electricus is the largest member
of the order. Knifefish are mainly nocturnal and, while
many can generate electric fields for navigation, the electric eel also uses this ability for
attack and defense. Number 1 Electrophorus voltai
As recently as September 2019, the general assumption was that a single electric eel
species existed in nature and that its name is Electrophorus electricus. However, after years of exploring the Amazon
Rainforest, researcher Carlos David de Santana argues that two more species can be added
to the list. These are the proposed Electrophorus varii
and Electrophorus voltai. There are some morphological distinctions
and DNA differences between them but that’s not the most intriguing part. According to de Santana’s research, Electrophorus
voltai is the world’s most powerful eel. Named after Alessandro Volta, the inventor
of the battery, its discharge tops out at 860 volts. This exceeds the previously-thought limit
of 650. The new findings would make it the planet’s
most electric animal and the strongest bioelectricity generator known to man. The research team also discovered that electric
eels aren’t exclusively solitary animals, as previously thought, and may even cooperate
to take down prey. Thanks for watching! Would you rather dive in electric eel-infested
waters OR jump out of a moving car? Let us know in the comments section below!

100 comments on “When Electric Eels Attack

  1. My uncle use to have a pet Eel with some other fish. The Eel was cool but died because it got stuck under a tree branch thing we had in the tank so it could hide under

  2. The bull shark: the most aggressive shark in the world, killed many, eats anything, travels between salt and fresh water (~2500 miles), strongest psi bite of any shark, possibly responsible for jersey shore attacks. Maybe even the most agressive in the animal kingdom (testosterone levels the highest). Will attack pretty much anything. Often go for the kill when attacking people.

    Not many people know the extent of this sharks traits and it’s unpredictable nature with very close proximity to humans make it a perfect fit for an episode.

  3. I know ur seeing this right now. So could u plz do a vid on what would happen when scrolling deep within the dark web n deep plz!!!!!!😭😭😭😭😭😢😢😢

  4. How about when mining machinery becomes deadly things like haul trucks, continuous miners, front end loaders, excavators etc.

  5. I know people are gonna judge me hard but honestly if it weren’t for cartoons I never would’ve known eels can generate electricity.

  6. Do a list on Honey Badgers please…. I don’t know enough about them bet they are my favorite animal in the wild. Thank u 😊

  7. Then why can't they find away to use the eels as a natural way to use as electricity in places where they don't have electrical power to help in hospitals overseas where I'm sure it could help with many different ways

  8. Why do you keep showing a moray wtf do some work
    They can’t be solitary in the dry season they are found in pools well puddles really in large numbers

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