Electricians’ Favourite Creatures: From Electric Eels to Glow Worms
We live in this life we wish we have super powers like those superheroes we get to see in movies created by the wild imaginations of screenwriters. Some of these superheroes have electrical powers or electrokinesis, which is a psychic power to generate and control electricity. The 10 best electrically powered heroes that possess this kind of super power according to CBR.com are Flash, Victor Mancha, Crystal, Shazam, Surge, Black Lightning, Thor, Static, Storm & Lightning Lad.
But did you know that there are real creatures that have real electrical powers by nature? Oh yes, we know electricians love fancy lighting and they sure know how to control electricity with their gained knowledge and the help of electrical equipment; but no, I’m not referring to them. I am actually referring to their favourite creatures! Head on below to know 5 of them.
Electric Eels. Surprise! Electric eels are not eels at all. Their classifications are more closely related to carp and catfish. Their name was derived from the enormous electrical charge that they can produce to stun prey, dissuade predators, and communicate to other electric eels. Their bodies contain electrocytes, with around 6,000 specialised cells, that are simultaneously discharged when threatened or attacked by prey. While human deaths caused by these creatures are extremely rare, multiple shocks can cause respiratory or heart failure.
Sharks. These are the world’s biggest living fish and are said to be the poster child of electroreception. The sharks’ sensitivity to electric fields in water can be traced to jelly-filled tubes called electroreceptors (also known as ampullae of Lorenzini) that are located to their skin. The end of each tubes have bulb known as the ampulla. When sharks detect the electrical fields generated by their prey, sharks use their electroreceptors to capture it.
Oriental Hornets. Long before humans got interested on anything solar powered, these creatures have been enjoying the benefits of sun with solar cells directly built into their skin. Their cuticle allows them to absorb sunlight that is converted into electrical energy. While oriental hornets are most active digging in the midday, their yellow colors protect their cuticle from potentially harmful solar UV radiation.
Geckos. These creatures belong to the group of lizards. They are actually small lizards. Geckos’ ability to climb to smooth vertical surfaces and stick on it are due in part to electrostatic forces on their feet. When a gecko climbs up the wall, electrons leave their feet, forming a positively charged gecko and a negatively charged wall.
Glow Worms. Another surprise here! Glow worms are not worms! Yes, you read that right, they are actually larvae of a mosquito-like fly. Glow worms are renowned for their incredible bioluminescence of blue and green, which are featured on Instagram and other social media with #glowworm. The blue and green lights are a product of a chemical reaction between luciferin (a waste product), the enzyme luciferase, adenosine triphosphate (ATP – the energy molecule) and oxygen. Their glow attracts preys, which are then entangled to the silk web built by glow worms.
To know more of these amazing creatures, you can check it here.