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Electric Eel Lights up Christmas Tree in Japan

2010-12-01 11:25 AM EST Last Updated: 2010-12-01 01:25 PM EST

An aquarium in Japan is shocking visitors with its Christmas display – using an eco-friendly eel to illuminate the lights on its holiday tree.

Each time the creature moves, two aluminum panels gather enough electricity to power the iridescent pine.

Visitor Sumie Chiba was fascinated with the display, but questioned the practicality of eel energy for domestic use.

[Sumie Chiba, Aquarium Visitor]:

"It's not appropriate for home use yet, but if this was possible, I think it's very nice and extremely eco-friendly."

Creator Kazuhiko Minawa upgraded this year's display to include a man-powered Santa robot.

Visitors stomped on a pad to make Mr. Clause sing and dance.

[Kazuhiko Minawa, Enoshima Aquarium PR Team]:

"We first decided to get an electric eel to light up a Christmas tree and its top ornament using its electricity. As electric eels use their muscles when generating a charge, we also thought to get humans to use their muscles to light up parts of the tree and to power Santa."

For five years, the aquarium in Kamakura, south of Tokyo, has featured the electric eel to encourage ecological sensitivity.

The display is open now until Christmas.

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