CRAZY WEDNESDAY: CHRISTMAS EEL-LUMINATIONS!

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Even at Christmas, often a season of excess, people are finding ways of going green. The Rockefeller Christmas tree is the biggest, and the greenest, ever this year. The 84-foot spruce is covered in over 30,000 energy-efficient LED lights, powered by what will become a permanent array of photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of the Rockefeller Center and continue to power the building once Christmas is over.

However, an aquarium centre in Japan has come up with an energy efficient and wonderfully crazy idea. Their tree lights are powered by an electric eel. Whenever the eel at the Aqua Toto Gifu aquarium touches a copper wire in its tank, it generates a current that eel-luminates the light bulbs on the Christmas tree. Electric eels are not true eels. In fact, they are members of the catfish family. They grow to a couple of metres long, and have good hearing although they are more or less blind. Their electrical discharge, which they can moderate the strength of, is usually used for hunting prey and in self-defence and can range from tens to hundreds of Volts. As for powering Christmas trees, the eels obviously have potential.

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According to the Mainichi Daily News, officials expect the “eel Christmas tree” to be “a popular attraction for dating couples in the lead-up to Christmas Day, when the tree will be removed”. Funnily enough, this isn’t really my idea of a romantic evening, but perhaps they find it puts a spark into their relationship!!

Amanda

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