Eco-friendly Christmas Decoration Of The Week

I’ve been away for three weeks and in that time my neighbours have installed their external Christmas decorations. They seem to get earlier each year. At a time when we are urged to consider our global footprint, it seems rather counter-intuitive to waste so much juice on these extravagant displays.

Perhaps they should take a leaf out of the book of the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. If you have an electric eel swimming aimlessly around in the aquarium, why not put the energy it generates to some use.

Somewhat ingeniously, Joey Turnipseed, the Aquarium’s audio-visual production specialist, has attached sensors to the tank in which their electric eel, who goes by the name of Miguel Wattson, swims in. They harness its natural electrical discharge to a set of speakers which then use the charge to power a selection of Yuletide ditties and power the flashing set of Christmas lights.

The only draw back is that when the creature is foraging for food, it only emits around 10 volts of electricity and so the lights are somewhat dim. However, there can be a power surge when the eel wants to stun its prey by unleashing 800 volts of electricity.

Still, they are doing their bit for the planet, so more power to their elbow.

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