Can electric eels kill you?

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A full-grown electric eel can generate about 600 volts of electricity. Although there are few documented instances of people dying from an electric eel's shock, it could happen… A single jolt could incapacitate a person long enough to cause him or her to drown, even in shallow water.

It's rare to find documented cases that report deaths from an eel's shock, but it can happen. An adult eel can produce a lethal 600 volts of electrical energy, which is enough to kill you or, if you live, leave you incapacitated for years.

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The eel would hope that you make some splashes which would help the eel to find you. Once that happens, and the eel spots you, the eel will release a second electric shock. If the shock were to come from a full-sized adult, it would be equal to 600 volts of electricity. Now this shock itself might not kill you, but it would lead to some serious consequences. At first, you’ll experience some loss of muscle control.

Electric eels are best known for their ability to emit massive electrical charge, which they often use to stun or even kill their prey. They can discharge up to 600V for over 2ms, which they also use for self-defense and even communicated with other electric eels.

In the electric eel, some 5,000 to 6,000 stacked electroplaques can generate a shock of up to 860 volts and up to 1 ampere of current. Electric eels use electricity in multiple ways. Low voltages are used to sense the surrounding environment. High voltages are used to detect prey and, separately, stun them.

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