It's beginning to eel a lot like Christmas

Wed Dec 1, 2010 12:03pm EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

TOKYO (Reuters) - An aquarium in Japan is shocking visitors with its Christmas display -- using an eco-friendly electric eel to illuminate the lights on its holiday tree.

Each time the eel moves, two aluminum panels gather enough electricity to light up the 2-meter (6 ft 6 in) tall tree, decked out in white, in glowing intermittent flashes.

The aquarium in Kamakura, just south of Tokyo, has featured the electric eel for five years to encourage ecological sensitivity.

This year, it added a Santa robot that sings and dances when visitors stomp on a pad.

"We first decided to get an electric eel to light up a Christmas tree and its top ornament using its electricity," said Kazuhiko Minawa, on the public relations team for the Enoshima Aquarium. "As electric eels use their muscles when generating a charge, we also thought to get humans to use their muscles to light up parts of the tree and power Santa."

Visitor Sumie Chiba was fascinated with the display but questioned the practicality of eel energy for domestic use.

"If this was possible, I think it's very nice and extremely eco-friendly," she said.

(Reporting by Chris Meyers; editing by Elaine Lies)

 
<p>An electric eel illuminates a Christmas tree in Kamakura, just south of Tokyo, in this image taken from television footage. REUTERS TV</p>