lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

E is for Electric Eel

This image of incredible electric eels is by Walknboston on Flikr.

walknboston electric eel

Electric eels are actually not eels at all but a type of fish similar to a catfish – they can reach 8 feet in length.

They live in muddy streams that feed into and in the Amazon and Orinoco rivers in South America.

They are extraordinary killers.  Their bodies have about 6,000 specialised cells, each one of which can store electric energy just like a battery. If they are threatened, or if they want to stun prey (mainly fish) they discharge each cell at once producing a charge of about 6ooV, which is five times the power of a US power socket and two and a half times that of a UK power socket.

They have poor sight but can detect prey by using a low charge electrical radar.

All in all you wouldn’t want to meet one – human deaths by electric eel are relatively rare, but they can cause a person to have heart failure and die by drowning after being stunned.

Here is my electric eel poem:

.

Shocking

.

More powerful than

an electric socket,

this eel will choose

its prey then shock it,

600 volts of

discharge zappery,

stored in its cells

for assault by battery.

.

© Liz Brownlee

.

Information from:

Arkive.

Wikipedia.

Image by Walknboston on Flikr by Creative Commons licence.

Prose and Poem © Liz Brownlee, all rights reserved, poem not to be used, or any part of it, in any manner whatsoever without the permission of the author.

 

 

 

44 Comments

  1. Kind of has a mouth like a catfish…

    Like

  2. I’m enjoying your poems – how fun.

    Like

    • Thank you, Darcy! I’ll be along to see you, later.

      Like

  3. greyzoned/angelsbark

    That’s crazy about the electrical power of the eel! I sure wouldn’t want to encounter one.
    Cool poem: I like it!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    Like

    • Hello! Thank you. I’m not a fan of bathing in the sea, I think you can guess why!

      Like

  4. “Assault by battery” <-very clever!
    It's funny that they have poor eyesight. They look as though they have a dozen pairs of eyes.

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    • Thanks, Robyn! It’s eyes are on top of its head – its electric organ are arranged in rows down the sides of its head. The holes you see I think are its gills… it has to breathe air every ten minutes though, it doesn’t get all its oxygen from the water.

      Like

  5. They are not one to mess around with although their small eyes have a pretty colour. I like your poem:)

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  6. wow…hope they are not under extinction,my country has severe power shortage 😉

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    • They aren’t at the minute, Satya… where do you live?

      Like

  7. Nilanjana Bose

    Fun verse! Don’t want to brush up against one…

    Thanks for visiting my blog

    Nilanjana
    Ninja Minion, A-Z 2016
    Madly-in-Verse

    Like

    • Thank you, Nilanjana! It wouldn’t be wise, but actually they aren’t aggressive. Don’t think I’d risk it, though…

      Like

  8. Love the poem. Yes, they do look a bit like catfish but I wouldn’t want to meet one.

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    • Thank you, Eunice. I suppose that divers are protected by their rubber suits…

      Like

  9. Ha ha. Another goodie!

    Like

  10. I rather like their grumpy mouths and I loved your poem, Liz.

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    • Thank you, Susan – they do look grumpy, don’t they?

      Like

      • Ugly, but somehow endearing.

        Susan A Eames from
        Travel Fiction and Photos

        Like

      • They are, aren’t they. Incredible animals. I see you have a signature! The address is still underneath, though, I wonder why?

        Like

  11. Ugly beggars, aren’t they? Clever, zappy poem.

    Like

  12. Fascinating facts yet again and great poem, Liz.

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    • Thank you, Eve. I’m never bored, researching these animals!

      Like

  13. The poem almost makes them sound cute 🙂 I remember seeing a River Monsters ep about the electric eel – some tribes hunt them bare handed and don’t die, which is quite amazing.
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    Like

    • Crikey! I wonder how they do that? The smaller the specimen, the weaker the charge – I wonder if they go for little ones?

      Like

  14. Shilpa Garg

    Dangerous creatures. Wouldnt want them near us… ever! Like your poem a lot 🙂

    Like

  15. I love the photo you shared. It makes your point, as within it you can see a relationship to catfish. Nice!

    Like

    • Thanks, Stephanie! I spend a lot of time looking for the perfect photos!

      Like

  16. Ula

    I love this poem! Nice to read your poetry once again.

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  17. Their very appearance seems to say … keep your distance. Lovely poem, thank you for sharing. Always enjoy reading poetry.

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    • Thanks, Silvia! Yes – although, if they looked all cute and fluffy, how much more startling would be the shock!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Much more, indeed. Best that they warn us in their own unique way.

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      • 🙂

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  18. Great imagery, and a shocking post, best place fora battery as that is no place for bantams!
    enjoy the challenge

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    • Thanks, Michael! I am enjoying it a lot, actually…

      Like

  19. Thanks for using my photo and great poem. Learned some facts about them I didn’t know too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello! It is a fabulus photo, thank you so much for allowing me to use it!

      Like

  20. And thanks to Michael and Stephanie for liking the photo too.

    Like

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