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Have Yourself An Eel-Powered Little Christmas

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The current article you are reading does not reflect the views of the current editors and contributors of the new Ecorazzi

Sure, you can have a green Christmas by renting a living tree or a flat-pack, but why not take your eco-efforts up a notch and buy a 3-6 foot long eel to power all those pretty twinkling lights?

That’s what the folks at an aquarium in Kamakura, Japan, decided to do. The tree in their main lobby, trimmed with tinsel, lights, and decorations, looks like any other traditional holiday staple, but what keeps drawing visitors in is the unconventional way their lighting it: through the use of an electric eel.

For five years the aquarium has featured the eel-powered tree to encourage ecological sensitivity. There’s a conductive copper wire in the tank, and every time the eel moves it generates 800 watts of electricity that then sends a surge of electric power to light up the 6 foot tall pine tree.

In an interview, Sumie Chiba, a visitor to the display, said, “I think it’s very nice and extremely eco-friendly.”

While there may be some truth to that, we do have concerns as to the eel’s health, as they generally live in darkness and, as seen in the video, this tank seems to be sparse in terms of comforts and space.

What do you all think? Video after the jump below.

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