NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For the sake of science, a Vanderbilt University researcher stuck his arm into an electric eel tank to study its shock power.

The conclusion: touching a small eel, like the 16-inch one Ken Catania worked with, feels like accidentally touching a horse fence. For big eels eight feet or longer, it’s like getting shocked by nine TASER guns at once.

A Vanderbilt news release and video Thursday show Catania put his arm into the tank 10 times. He says that was the only way to accurately measure the circuit created by the eel, his arm and the water.

Catania used an equation to extrapolate data from the small eel to measure the power of bigger ones.

The biological sciences professor previously documented how eels leap out of water to attack.

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