It's Japan: It's expected to see eel on the menu. But under the Christmas tree? Turns out this order of Anguilliformes is an untapped source of alternative energy. At the Aqua Toto Gifu aquarium in Kakamigahara, Gifu, an electric eel powers up a Christmas tree each time it touches a cooper wire installed in its tank. The wire sends the eel's natural electricity up to the globes in the tree, which shine down some holiday cheer on couples (Christmas is considered a time for romance in the country, and the eel is expected to be a popular date attraction.) Nearly blind, eels use electricity to shock their prey into submission before they chow down.
Random fact: Locals on the Pacific island of Huahine in French Polynesia worship the 3- to 6-foot long eels found in a stream. According to local mythology, they are sacred. Thanks for the tip, Meg! via ::Mainichi Daily News ::Wikipedia ::Inventerspot.com
Image top: Courtesy of the New England Aquarium. Image bottom: Courtesy of Mainichi Daily News