The Science Behind 'Black Lightning'

Black Lightning’s superpowers are more real than you might think.

by Inverse Original Video

The CW’s Black Lightning stars a high school principal who fights criminals with the power of electricity — and karate. While it may seem implausible, the concept of a living, breathing organism carrying a powerful electrical charge without dying has some real biology behind it.

While they aren’t trained in karate, several species of fish share Black Lightning’s ability to conduct electricity and electrocute their enemies. Electric catfish, eels, and rays are just a few species who possess this power. Some fish can produce charges of up to 800 volts. That’s more voltage than the third rail of New York City’s subway system.

An electric crime-fighting principal doesn’t sound so impossible, now does it? To find out more about the science behind Black Lighting, check out this episode of Science and Chill.

Don’t miss the series premiere of Black Lightning January 16th at 9/8c on The CW.

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