What is Electricity?

Have you ever stood outside during a bad storm and seen a sudden flash light up the sky? That was probably lightning. Lightning is very powerful. The heat from a flash of lightning can burn the ground and even set trees or houses on fire. Do you know what lightning is? It’s a giant spark of electricity in the air.
Have you ever noticed tiny sparks when you comb your hair, or when you take off a sweater very quickly in the dark? These are sparks of electricity. They are just like lightning flashes, but much smaller and safer.
Our body uses electricity all the time. Our heart produces tiny amounts of electricity to help it beat properly. Our brain is receiving and sending electrical messages to every part of your body, even when you’re asleep.
All animals’ bodies produce electricity, and some even use it as a weapon. Have you ever heard of the electric eel? The electric eel lives mainly in the Amazon and Orinoco rivers of South America. This eel is a fish that makes its own electricity to help in catching food and in protecting itself against enemies. The eel’s body can make enough electricity to kill a small fish or to stun a human being.
We don’t use electric eels to light up bulbs! Most of the electricity, or electric current, we use comes from huge power stations.
Can you think of some ways that we use electricity?
Electricity lights up bulbs so that we can see at night.
Electricity heats up ovens so that we can cook food.
Electricity helps to carry our voices along the wires when we speak to people on the telephone.
Electric trains quickly take people from one place to another.
Electricity makes it possible for computers to do complicated calculations.
Electricity lights up the whole of the city of Hong Kong at night.

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