Can Electric Eels Kill You?
The big question is whether or not these beasts can kill you if you were actually to get shocked by an electric eel. There are very few verified or documented reports of anyone dying directly from an electric eel shock, but it’s still possible.
Although dying directly from the electric pulse itself would be unlikely, a more plausible scenario would be where a shock would incapacitate you and cause you to drown if you were face-first in the water. Getting shocked more than once could have you stop breathing or even some sort of cardiac heart failure.
How Strong Is An Electric Eel Shock?
Although scientists have recently discovered a new species of eels that create a shock of 860 volts, the average strength of an electric eel shock is closer to somewhere near 600 volts. Still not really strong enough to kill you, these short electric blasts are designed to stun their prey or protect themselves from predators.
For a direct comparison, a Taser gun used commonly by police is somewhere around 50,000 volts, so it may hurt like heck.. but not going to kill you.
According to Britannica, electric eels are one of the world’s top 10 most dangerous fish!
Where Do Electric Eels Live?
While the majority of eels live in saltwater, electric eels can only be located in freshwater rivers, creeks, and swamps across South America.
They are not found in oceans because electric eels aren’t even real eels! That’s right, electric eels are actually a species of knifefish that pack a high voltage surprise for anything they encounter.
Can You Eat Electric Eels?
The short answer is that yes you can eat electric eels, but very few people do for a couple of reasons. The first really obvious reason is that they are pretty dangerous to catch and second they don’t have meat suitable for people to eat.
What Do Electric Eels Eat?
Electric eels are carnivores, typically eating fish, crustaceans, insects, and even smaller amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.
Do Electric Eels Have Predators?
Most creatures stay well clear of electric eels, but larger mammals will sometimes seek them out from outside of the water when there are few other options, while piranhas, crocs, and caimans are known to eat electric eels only when after they are dead to avoid their deadly shock.
How Big Are Electric Eels?
In captivity, electric eels typically grow to 6-8 feet in length and well over 40 pounds in weight, but it’s not known how large they can grow in the wild.
How Long Do Electric Eels Live
In captivity, male electric eels can live between 10-15 years, while females can live over 20 years.