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Old 11-28-2017, 09:54 AM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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Electric eels?

This week's column: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...-electric-eels

I've been asked how do electric eels keep from shocking one another? And I have to admit, I have no clue. (What I don't know about electric eels is a lot.)

Though I'm intrigued by the idea of lighting my Christmas tree with some, how many would it take for an average Christmas tree? Would it be more if you had a really busy light display?
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Old 11-28-2017, 10:15 AM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is online now
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This might help.


...But eels live in water, which provides additional outlets for the current. They thus generate a larger voltage, but a divided, and therefore diminished, current. ...


https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ric-eels-gene/
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Old 11-28-2017, 10:31 AM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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So when eels meet it's a shocking experience?

Thanks for the information, I truly did not know. The world is an amazing place sometimes.
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Old 11-28-2017, 06:12 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Personally, I'm just disappointed that when he mentioned other dangerous critters in the Amazon, he didn't include a callback to the candiru.
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Old 11-28-2017, 06:22 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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I didn't really dig into the article but I'm getting the idea that to utilize electric eels for power generation we'll need much bigger eels.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:52 AM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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"We got to get a bigger eel!" I like that.

So how many/how much would it take to power your average Christmas tree? Just curious.
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:25 PM
naita naita is offline
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Electric eels are not like a battery or live wires that you accidentally touch and get shocked.

Imagine if, for self-protection, you had electrodes right in the palm of your right hand, and an on/off switch in your left pocket. How would you avoid shocking everyone you shook hands with? Easy, you just don't hit the switch.
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:40 PM
Flyer Flyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I didn't really dig into the article but I'm getting the idea that to utilize electric eels for power generation we'll need much bigger eels.
Sounds like a job for genetic engineering. (And we might get a 1950s-style SF movie out of the deal, besides.)
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:21 PM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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"The Eel That Lit Up Pittsburgh." Or something similar.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:46 PM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgenstern View Post
This might help.


...But eels live in water, which provides additional outlets for the current. They thus generate a larger voltage, but a divided, and therefore diminished, current. ...


https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ric-eels-gene/
And from the same article:
Quote:
The electric eel generates large electric currents
That's not eel: that's tripe.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:05 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Dangit, what's with periodicals not putting dates on their web articles? I've known for a while now that Scientific American's quality has been seriously declining, and wanted to see how recent that low-quality article was.

Having additional outlets for current would mean lower voltages and higher currents, not the other way around.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:10 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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This was pretty interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GomeIaCmQPw
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:41 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Never-mind all this rubbish!

All true Dopers want an answer to the real question in the back of our minds:

To make our Official Cecil Adams Electric Hovercraft go, how many eels must we fill it with?
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:18 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Obviously, it must be completely full.
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:53 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Dangit, what's with periodicals not putting dates on their web articles? I've known for a while now that Scientific American's quality has been seriously declining, and wanted to see how recent that low-quality article was.
Click on "rights and permissions":
Quote:
Title: How do electric eels generate a voltage and why do they not get shocked in the process?
Publication: Scientific American
Publisher: Scientific American, a division of Nature America, Inc.
Date: Dec 5, 2005
Copyright 2005 Scientific American, Inc. All rights reserved
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:43 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Melbourne, "large" currents vs. "diminished" currents is relative. Electric eels create a large current compared to other animals, who create microcurrents. Whereas the diminished current is with respect to the current generated dissipating outward in the water instead of discharging to one point of contact.

Chronos, I think what the article is saying is that the eel generates a large voltage, but the current is discharged from all around the body, so the eel doesn't get a large jolt in one spot, but the prey or a predator would.
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