How Strong Is an Electric Eel's Shock?

strong-electric-eel-s-shock Credit: Scott/CC-BY-2.0

Electric eels can emit up to 600 volts of electricity. The specific electrical output is approximately 100 volts per foot of eel. An eel's shock is strong enough to electrocute a full-grown horse.

Eels emit shocks to defend themselves as well as to subdue or kill prey. Electric eels also utilize electrical volts when navigating murky waters as their eyesight is poor. Eels possess three separate organs in their abdomens that are capable of generating electricity. When an eel senses prey or is confronted by a predator, its brain sends a message through the nervous system that temporarily creates an electrical current. An electric eel's vital organs take up approximately one-fifth of its entire body. The remainder of its body houses the organs that release electricity.