Eel lights up Christmas tree at Utah aquarium

Wind. Solar. Geo-thermal. Those alternative energy sources are so 2011.

An aquarium outside of Salt Lake City has harnessed a new kind of energy: eel power.

The Living Planet Aquarium's resident electric eel is fueling the Christmas tree outside its tank.

Here's how it works, the local power company installed two stainless steep probes inside the tank. When the eel puts out its electric pulse the probes pick it up, channel it to a sequencer and the lights blink, said spokeswoman Angie Hyde.

The eel, part of a permanent South America freshwater exhibit, is not actually lighting the tree, but his electric output is controlling the blinking.

"Visitors can visually and audibly experience the power of our electric eel and get a real sense of how amazing this creature is," said Hyde. "We thought we'd put a festive twist on it for the holidays which has been a huge hit with our members and visitors."

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