Electric eels are one of, if not the, weirdest creature in the wild. Despite their name, they are not closely related to real eels (Anguilliformes) and are actually a type of neotropical freshwater fish closely related to catfish. They have their own genus called Electrophorus.
Native to South America, these 6-8 foot long creatures can deliver a shock of up to 800 volts to any creature they deem a potential meal or threat. For reference, the most common wall outlets in American homes is 120 volts, so nearly 8 times that amount.
Given their size and literal electric powers, it seems like electric eels could have the capability of taking over the waters of South America, but they are generally quite docile, tending to only come out at night and avoid most confrontations with large animals. But if you know anything about the waters of South America, you know there are plenty of other dangerous animals lurking below the surface and sometimes they try to sneak up on an eel to get a meal.
This video shows a fisherman reeling in an electric eel he hooked and had just gotten it to the shore when he noticed a caiman eyeing it up. Obviously, there’s not much you can do when a caiman or gator wants your catch, so he whipped out his camera to capture what would happen.
Well, the caiman must have not paid attention in predator school because he sunk his teeth into the electric eel and immediately regretted it. As soon as his jaws chomp down, you can see the caiman’s body start convulsing as electrical waves pulsate into his head, locking his jaws in place, which forces more shocks directly into his system. Honestly, it’s a worst case scenario doom loop.
Both the eel and caiman were killed from the exchange, which is yet another reminder of the never ending brutal cycle of nature.
What a sight. That fisherman had to be sweating bullets and I’m glad he thought to video it for us all to see.