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It's Electric!

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This segment originally aired on May 10, 2016.    

There's no better word to describe the electric eel than, well, shocking. Part of that shock, as it turns out, was the discovery that it isn't a real eel at all. While it exhibits a long, smooth, snake-like body, the electric eel is scientifically classified as a knifefish, a cousin to the carp and catfish-only with maximum voltage.

The electric eel's charge is like that of a Taser, except while a Taser delivers 19 high-voltage pulses per second, the electric eel produces an astounding 400 pulses per second.

As chief executive officer, John Racanelli leads a team of 600 full and part-time employees and 1,000 volunteers in pursuing the National Aquarium’s mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. More than 1.5 million people annually visit the Aquarium’s venue in Baltimore, Maryland, while millions more are touched by the Aquarium’s education programs, outreach activities, social media campaigns and conservation initiatives.