Why can electric eels generate electricity?
The electric catfish is not an eel but a type of fish from the carp tribe. It inhabits the Orinoco and Amazone Rivers of South America. Because its long body is very similar to an eel, it is called an electric eel, relying on electric discharge for bait and defense.
How does electric eel generate electricity? That has to do with the structure of its body. Generally, up to four-fifths of its body length is due to the formation of electrolytic cells. These nerve end cells are packed tightly together, a cell the equivalent of a tiny battery. Usually, a cell about 0.1 mm long can produce 0.14 volts. Many of these cells are stacked together like many batteries in series, obtaining very high voltages. Just like the semiconductor radio you use requires a 3-volt power supply, you can get two 1.5-volt batteries connected in series to get a voltage of 3 volts.
In the body of a small electric eel, 1 cm in length, it can have 230 nerve end cells that can generate electricity, generating 32 volts. The eel is large, the number of cells in 1 cm of body length is slightly less, but the cell volume is slightly larger, its body is also longer. These cells are concentrated in the tail of the eel.
When the electric eel detects its prey or is in danger, it immediately emits strong currents, which can be as high as 400-600 volts. Electrical discharges can kill or stun frogs, juveniles, etc., help the electric eel catch prey while also being able to hit the enemy in an emergency, and help the eel defend itself. In addition to that, an electric discharge can also guide the eel because, after adulthood, its eyes are blurred.
In addition to the electric eel, many types of fish generate electricity, such as the electric catfish, the whale etc., up to a few hundred in total! Their discharge principle is the same as that of the eel.