January 3, 2008 6:04 pm

The holiday season is in full swing, and that means holiday decorations and Christmas trees are alight and twinkling.

Most of us just plug our lights into the regular old outlet, but a Japanese inventor had a different idea. has found a way to light an aquarium’s Christmas tree using an electric eel.

Two aluminum panels inside the eel’s tank function as electrodes to harness the eel’s electricity. Cables attached to the panels then deliver the power to the nearby tree, illuminating it.

Minawa said it took him more than a month to figure out how to light the tree using the eel’s power. The tree is proving to be a very popular attraction, drawing tourists from all over the country.

If we could gather all electric eels from all round the world, we would be able to light up an unimaginably giant Christmas tree,” Minawa told Reuters Television.

It’s not clear whether the system actually cuts down on electrical costs or energy usage, but I’d be curious to find out. I don’t think I have space in my living room for an eel tank, but if it saves me a few bucks I might just give it a try!

Categorized in: ,