Read my blog about the latest amazing discovery on Electric Eels
Hey guys, Bill here, In this series we have covered scores of epic amazon river monsters, like the Black Piranha, the Vampire Fish, and Arapaima.
—————LINKS TO VIDEOS SEEN IN THIS SHOW
Aligator shocked by eel
Indians hunting eels
Jermey wade lassos an Electric eel
Today, we’re heading deep, deep into the Amazon – to a place you can only reach by float plane – and that’s because this time, Steve Townson and I are looking for something really special.
STEVE: Today I am gong to take you to see one of the most dangerous river monsters there is… the electric eel… Now I am a little bit nervous about this… and a little scared too because they are known to kill people. You wait until you see this.
Electric eels, as it turns out are not actually eels.They come from the knife fish family. They are closer to Carp and catfish than they are true eels… They are air breathers that like to inhabit the swamps and creeks around here. And that’s where Steve starts his hunt.
These eels we’re looking for can grow to 8.2 feet or about 2 and a half meters. They can weigh up to 44 lbs or 20 Kilos. According to some sources, they can put out a electric jolt of up 900 Volts which is more than enough to stop a human heart.
Electric eels create their voltage by using 80% of their body mass to store 6000 or so cells that act like tiny batteries. Once fully charged, the eel can release all that stored energy at once, or in a series of jolts, depending on the needs of the situation. In this case, a caiman thought it might go for an eel dinner. but the eel used a full jolt to show the caiman it’s fatal mistake.
There are many ways to catch electric eels. Some indians lure them into a pool of poisoned water. Jeremy Wade from River Monsters fame likes to use a lasso… but Steve likes to stick with small circle hooks…
One way not to catch them is like this. In this video, the fisherman learns the hard way that it’s not a good idea to stand in the water while trying to catch them… Luckily his friends pulled him out of the water before he drowned… and he survived unhurt…
Now that we see it up close, look how small those eyes are… That’s because electric eels don’t use their eyes very much. Instead they use electrical impulses as radar to move around and even hunt prey….
Now the trick will be getting him off the hook without getting shocked. We should have brought rubber gloves, but then again, why spend money on that when a twig will do the job for free.
STEVE – There ya go a real Amazon river monster…. that thing could kill you.
On the way home, we stopped to get some underwater footage of electric eels at this creek we found…We wanted to see better how they move themselves around so well without a big tail fin.
Now look on the bottom of the fish here. You see these fantails that run along the bottom of the eel. These are actually very long anal fins used to propel the fish. Depending on how they are used, they can propel the fish forward, in reverse, up, and down. Very cool.
BILL: Well okay, that all the time I have for this video. I want to thank Steve for taking the time to show me that amazing fish… and also asks you guys a question.
From where does the electric eel produce more voltage, the head, or the tail? Leave you answer in the comment section below and then e-mail me for the official answer! Now here are some scenes from other videos in this series…