The most electric animal that we can find in nature generates up to 860 volts

The most electric animal that we can find in nature generates up to 860 volts

Electro , one of Spiderman’s supervillains, can generate large amounts of electricity, theoretically up to about a million volts. We can’t find something like that in nature, but at least we can find a creature that can generate up to 860 volts.

This creature is the electric eel (genus Electrophorus ), which is native to the river systems of the tropics of South and Central America.


According to a study published in Nature in 2019, of the three known living species, E. voltai is the one that generates the most electricity, with up to 860 volts in the case of a female 1.2 meters long.

The fish produces electricity with three pairs of organs throughout the body. Dr. William Crampton , one of the study’s directors, states, however, that size and electrical potential are unrelated:

Electric eels can grow to enormous sizes, up to 2 meters, but these monsters often have less voltage than other smaller specimens.

The power of the Electrophorus voltai could be explained as a way of adapting to its aquatic environment, located in highlands, where the electrical conductivity is weak. Some 250 species of electric fish live in South America. All produce electrical current to communicate or orient themselves, but eels are the only ones that use it to hunt or defend themselves.

Electric eels, which despite their name are more like fish than real eels, fascinate scientists for their ability to produce electricity, managing to paralyze their prey through an electroshock mechanism. To get an idea: a taser gun provides 19 high-voltage pulses per second, while the electric eel produces 400 pulses per second . The eel would be able to knock down a horse.