Eels are like snakes of the ocean: they’re skinny, wiggly and have no legs. But while snakes are reptiles, eels are fish. Most exciting of all is the electric eel — which isn’t an eel at all, but a type of knifefish. Electric eels use electricity to drive away animals who might try to eat them. An electric eel can pack a 600-volt shock! The good news is, when electric eels are just swimming around, they send out a much nicer 10-volt signal. That sounds like that could power our toys…as we’ll see from the math below!

*Wee ones:* If you have 3 pet electric eels and 6 non-electric eels, which animal do you have more of?

*Little kids:* How many legs would you, your pet dog and your pet electric eel have together? *Bonus:* If you have 4 pet electric eels and each one can light up 2 light bulbs, how many bulbs can they light up together?

*Big kids:* If every electric eel makes 4 volts of electricity, can 8 electric eels run your 44-volt ice cream maker? *Bonus:* How many 4-volt electric eels in total would you actually need?

*The sky’s the limit:* If an eel can really shock you with 600 volts, how many 1 1/2-volt AA batteries do you need to match that? (*Hint if needed:* How many 3-volt batteries would you need?)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* More regular eels, because 6 is more than 3.

*Little kids:* 6 legs, since the dog has 4 and the electric eel has none. *Bonus:* 8 light bulbs.

*Big kids:* No, because together they make only 32 volts. *Bonus:* 11 electric eels.

*The sky’s the limit:* 400 batteries! To help solve this, if the batteries were twice as strong at 3 volts, you’d need just 200 of them. So at half the strength (1.5) you need twice as many batteries.