Experiments at Vanderbilt University have proven a 200-year-old observation that electric eels can leap out of water and shock animals to death, a claim originally made by 19th century biologist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.
During a field trip to the Amazon basin in 1800, Humboldt observed electric eels leaping out of the water and delivering enough voltage to kill a horse. With no scientific studies on the matter, and no similar observations since, many had come to believe that the famous naturalist may have been exaggerating.
Ken Catania a biologist who has been studying eels for several years said he not only validated the original account but found evidence that leaping eels were far more terrifying than even Humboldt realized. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation .