Box Jellyfish vs. Electric Eel: Which Slippery Creature Would Win In A Fight?

Written by Lev Baker
Published: April 26, 2023
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What would happen if the two most electrifying and dangerous creatures of the sea were to come face to face? 

Don’t underestimate the electric eel, an amphibious fish capable of producing up to an incredible 600 volts of electricity. Nor should you underestimate the box jellyfish, a type of jellyfish with tentacles loaded with venomous cells to paralyze its prey.

Read on to discover who would reign supreme in this electrifying fight between the box jellyfish vs. electric eel!

Key Differences Between a Box Jellyfish vs. Electric Eel

In order to understand which sea creature would win such a fight, we first need to understand the key differences between these two animals.

Both box jellyfish and electric eels have evolved to survive in their aquatic habitats with unique adaptations. The main differences between the box jellyfish and the electric eel lie in their appearance, behavior, and hunting techniques.


The box jellyfish is one of the deadliest animals in the ocean

The box jellyfish is one of the deadliest animals in the ocean because of its potent venom.

©Daleen Loest/

The box jellyfish is one of the deadliest animals in the ocean, capable of delivering a fatal dose of venom. Its name comes from its cuboid shape, and it has four distinct sides that make it look like a box. The box itself is generally tiny, reaching up to around 12 inches in diameter. But, of course, the box jellyfish’s most notable feature is its tentacles. This sea creature’s tentacles can reach up to 10 feet long, covered in venomous cells called nematocysts.

The electric eel is a fascinating aquatic creature found in the rivers and streams of South America. Despite its name, the electric eel is not a true eel but is actually a type of knife fish. It has a long, slender, and cylindrical body that can reach up to 8 feet in length and weigh up to 44 pounds. Its body is covered in smooth, slimy skin that is typically brown or gray in color. The electric eel also has a long, pointed snout and a small, beady eye.

Hunting Techniques

When the box jellyfish comes into contact with its prey, it releases a paralyzing toxin that can cause severe pain or even death. The box jellyfish uses its venomous tentacles to immobilize or kill its target.

Electric eels generate a powerful electrical shock of up to 600 volts to stun and kill its prey. This current is strong enough to knock out humans, as well as other large animals.

Electric eel

An electric eel can generate a powerful electrical shock of up to 600 volts.

© Mnasina

Aggression and Behavior

The box jellyfish is an aggressive hunter. However, these sea creatures thankfully do not show aggression towards humans. In fact, this creature will generally retreat if it senses a disturbance in the water, such as a nearby swimmer. However, accidental contact with a box jellyfish’s tentacles can be fatal to humans, so it’s essential to exercise caution when swimming in areas where box jellyfish are known to live.

On the other hand, the electric eel is not a very aggressive predator. But with that said, it has been known to attack aggressively when it feels threatened. When threatened, electric eels can also leap out of the water to deliver a shock to their attacker. While electric eels are not typically aggressive towards humans, they should be approached with caution, as a shock from one of these powerful creatures can be dangerous or even deadly in some cases!

Key Factors in a Fight Between a Box Jellyfish vs. Electric Eel

Several key factors could determine which sea creature would come out on top in a hypothetical battle between the box jellyfish and electric eel. Size, speed, agility, defense, and venom are some of the most significant elements to consider. Let’s dive into these factors to determine the winner of the fight.


Technically, the electric eel is much larger than the box jellyfish, usually reaching up to 8 feet in length. On the other hand, if you only count the box, the box jellyfish is much smaller in size. On average, these creatures have a diameter of just 12 inches.

However, the most impressive physical attribute of the box jellyfish is its tentacles, so we would be remiss to forget them! The tentacles of a box jellyfish can reach up to 10 feet long! The length of these tentacles proves to be a significant advantage for the box jellyfish, as it could leverage its size and reach to attack before the electric eel can have a chance to attack.

The tentacles of a box jellyfish can reach up to 10 feet long

The tentacles of a box jellyfish can reach up to 10 feet long!

©Dewald Kirsten/


The electric eel has an edge when it comes to weight. The average weight of an electric eel is around 45 pounds, while a box jellyfish only weighs approximately 4.5 pounds. This means that the electric eel is much more likely to be able to physically overpower a box jellyfish in a fight.


The box jellyfish is the fastest jellyfish, with many species capable of reaching speeds up to 4 knots (about 4.6 mph). In addition, they have powerful swimming muscles that help propel them through the water. Electric eels are ever-so-slightly faster on average than box jellyfish, reaching speeds of up to 5 miles per hour. The electric eel has a few additional advantages of its own regarding mobility. This fish can move in bursts of speed, and its ability to use electric shocks to stun its prey gives it an edge when hunting. Therefore, the electric eel would have a slight edge over the box jellyfish in terms of speed.

electric eel is faster vs. box jellyfish

Electric eels are ever-so-slightly faster on average than box jellyfish, reaching speeds of up to 5 miles per hour.



The box jellyfish’s primary form of defense is its venomous tentacles, which are loaded with neurotoxins that can paralyze and sometimes even kill their victims. On the other hand, the electric eel’s central defense is its shock-like attack – it can generate a powerful electric current that stuns its predators. While the electric eel’s defense is certainly more intense, the box jellyfish’s tentacles are more effective at close range.

The box jellyfish would likely have the advantage in close combat with the electric eel due to its avenging tentacles.

The electric eel would have to rely on its electric shocks to defend itself, but the box jellyfish’s tentacles would be much more effective at close range.


The box jellyfish is equipped with venom that is potent and deadly. Its tentacles are loaded with tiny, harpoon-like structures called nematocysts that contain a lethal poison. One sting from this sea creature is enough to cause severe pain and even death. Box jellyfish attack by swimming toward their prey and then using their tentacles to ensnare and paralyze them. The venom of some species of box jellyfish can be lethal to humans, causing heart failure and breathing difficulties.

On the other hand, electric eels use their specialized organs called electrolytes to generate electrical currents up to 600 volts. They use these electrical shocks to stun and immobilize their prey, which they can then eat at their leisure. The electric eel’s electrical discharge is also used to navigate its environment and communicate with other eels.

While it’s hard to compare the two very different attack techniques of these creatures, the box jellyfish’s venom is more deadly than the electric eel’s electrical current.

Box jellyfish would win a fight against an electric eel

A box jellyfish would win a fight against an electric eel because its potent venom, long tentacles and aggressive behavior give it the advantage.


Which Animal Would Win The Fight? The Verdict!

In a hypothetical battle between a box jellyfish and an electric eel, the edge goes to the box jellyfish. Its potent venom, coupled with its long tentacles and more aggressive behavior, makes it the superior animal in such a fight.

The electric eel’s electric shocks are undoubtedly impressive, but the box jellyfish’s tentacles would likely be too much for the electric eel to handle. With the help of its long tentacles, the box jellyfish could attack the electric eel from afar before the electric eel could even have a chance to attack the jellyfish and then finish it off with its potent venom.

In conclusion, the box jellyfish is the clear victor in this battle of slippery creatures. The electric eel would not be able to stand up to its lethal venom and speed. The box jellyfish is a truly formidable creature of the deep sea that every diver should be wary of.

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Lev is a writer at AZ Animals who primarily covers topics on animals, geography, and plants. He has been writing for more than 4 years and loves researching topics and learning new things. His three biggest loves in the world are music, travel, and animals. He has his diving license and loves sea creatures. His favorite animal in the world is the manta ray.

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