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Long before any knowledge of electricity existed, people were aware of shocks from electric fish. Ancient Egyptian texts dating from 2750 BCE referred to these fish as the "Thunderer of the Nile", and described them as the "protectors" of all other fish. Electric fish were again reported millennia later by ancient Greek, Roman and Arabic naturalists and physicians. Several ancient writers, such as Pliny the Elder and Scribonius Largus, attested to the numbing effect of electric shocks delivered by catfish and electric rays, and knew that such shocks could travel along conducting objects. Patients suffering from ailments such as gout or headache were directed to touch electric fish in the hope that the powerful jolt might cure them. Possibly the earliest and nearest approach to the discovery of the identity of lightning, and electricity from any other source, is to be attributed to the Arabs, who before the 15th century had the Arabic word for lightning ra‘ad (. mw-parser-output . script-Cprt{font-size:1. 25em;font-family:"Segoe UI Historic","Noto Sans Cypriot",Code2001}. mw-parser-output . script-Hano{font-size:125%;font-family:"Noto Sans Hanunoo","FreeSerif",Quivira}. mw-parser-output . script-Latf,. mw-parser-output . script-de-Latf{font-size:1. 25em;font-family:"Breitkopf Fraktur",UnifrakturCook,UniFrakturMaguntia,"MarsFraktur","MarsFraktur OT","KochFraktur","KochFraktur OT","OffenbacherSchwabOT","LOB. AlteSchwabacher","LOV. AlteSchwabacher","LOB. AtlantisFraktur","LOV. AtlantisFraktur","LOB. BreitkopfFraktur","LOV. BreitkopfFraktur","LOB. FetteFraktur","LOV. FetteFraktur","LOB. Fraktur3","LOV. Fraktur3","LOB. RochFraktur","LOV. RochFraktur","LOB. PostFraktur","LOV. PostFraktur","LOB. RuelhscheFraktur","LOV. RuelhscheFraktur","LOB. RungholtFraktur","LOV. RungholtFraktur","LOB. TheuerbankFraktur","LOV. TheuerbankFraktur","LOB. VinetaFraktur","LOV. VinetaFraktur","LOB. WalbaumFraktur","LOV. WalbaumFraktur","LOB. WeberMainzerFraktur","LOV. WeberMainzerFraktur","LOB. WieynckFraktur","LOV. WieynckFraktur","LOB. ZentenarFraktur","LOV. ZentenarFraktur"}. mw-parser-output . script-en-Latf{font-size:1. 25em;font-family:Cankama,"Old English Text MT","Textura Libera","Textura Libera Tenuis",London}. mw-parser-output . script-it-Latf{font-size:1. 25em;font-family:"Rotunda Pommerania",Rotunda,"Typographer Rotunda"}. mw-parser-output . script-Lina{font-size:1. 25em;font-family:"Noto Sans Linear A"}. mw-parser-output . script-Linb{font-size:1. 25em;font-family:"Noto Sans Linear B"}. mw-parser-output . script-Ugar{font-size:1. 25em;font-family:"Segoe UI Historic","Noto Sans Ugaritic",Aegean}. mw-parser-output . script-Xpeo{font-size:1. 25em;font-family:"Segoe UI Historic",Noto Sans Old Persian,Artaxerxes,Xerxes,Aegean}رعد) applied to the electric ray.

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