Interesting facts about lightning.

  Monika
  karma level 82066

Lightning is an amazing and breathtaking sight to witness. At the same time it is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable of all natural phenomena. But how much do you really know about lightning? Even though scientists all over the world are gathering facts about lightning, dividing it into different types, measuring its voltage, monitoring temperature, and creating it in laboratories, it is still impossible to predict the behavior of every lightning bolt. Let’s look through some facts about lightning.


  • At this very moment there are about 1800 thunderstorms.
  • Every year, the Earth experiences an average of 25 million lightning strikes during some 100,000 thunderstorms. That’s more than a hundred lightning bolts per second.
  • An average instance of lightning lasts about a quarter of a second and consists of 3-4 strikes.
  • You can hear thunder from about 12 miles from the starting point.
  • Lightning bolts travel at speeds of up to 60,000 miles per second.
  • The average length of a single lightning bolt is 2-3 miles.
  • A single lightning bolt travels through twisted paths in the air that can be as wide as one of your fingers or between six and ten miles.
  • The temperature of a typical lightning bolt can reach 50,000 F degrees – that is 5 times greater than the temperature of the surface of the Sun.

  • The energy contained in a single lightning strike can power a 100 Watt light bulb for 90 days.
  • “Lightning never strikes twice” unfortunately is a myth. Lightning can strike the same location many times.
  • Ancient Greeks believed that when a lightning strike hit the sea a new pearl appeared.
  • Trees sometimes can take direct hits from lightning and not get burnt – the electricity passes over their wet surface and goes straight into the ground.




  • Glass forms when lightning strikes into sandy soil. After a storm you can find strips of glass in the sand.
  • If you have wet clothes on, lightning will do you less harm.
  • In March of 1991 a single six-hour storm stretching over Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri caused more than 15,000 lightning strikes. During the storm the skies were ablaze with almost constant lightning.
  • Lightning hits the Empire State Building (NY, USA) about 23 times a year.
  • Lightning strikes also occur on Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus.
  • The Aztecs believed that lightning accompanied the dead, splitting the earth and making its way into its depths.
  • In the Middle Ages it was believed that church bells expelled evil spirits. Thunder and lightning were regarded as diabolical, so during a thunderstorm monks tried to constantly ring the bells. As a result the victims of lightning very often were bell-ringers.
  • The irrational fear of lightning is known as keraunophobia. The fear of thunder is termed brontophobia.
  • There are from 100 to 1000 instances of ball lightning at the same time on Earth, but the chance you’ll see at least one in your lifetime is just 0.01%.








Deadly Facts

  • On average, about 200 people are killed by lightning in the United States every year.
  • The state of Florida holds the title of the “Deadliest State.” There are twice as many lightning casualties as in any other state. 10% of all people struck by lightning were in Florida at the time.
  • The chance to be killed by lightning is 1 in 2,000.000. You have the same chance dying from falling out of bed.
  • Never talk on the phone while a storm is breaking outside. Not only do cell phones “attract” lightning, but about 1% of all lightning deaths in the U.S. Are a result of people talking inside the home on a corded phone during a thunderstorm.
  • About 71% of all people struck by lightning survive. The fatal cases are usually the result of cardiac arrest. However, those who survive often suffer from serious health and psychological problems like loss of memory or sensitivity, insomnia, impaired hearing, or constant pain.





Stories

There are also lots of facts that scientists just cannot explain – for example  the seeming “addiction” of lightning to some places or even humans.

Park ranger Roy Sullivan was struck by lightning seven times between 1942 and 1977: in 1942 the lightning burned his thumb and his leg, in July 1969  lightning burned his eyebrows, in July 1970 it burned his shoulder, in April 1972 it scorched his hair, in August 1973 it burned his legs, in June 1976 lightning hit his ankle and in June 1977 he suffered a seared breast and abdomen. Such a destiny let to psychological problems and depression and six years later, in September 1983, Sullivan committed suicide.




Another weird story happened to a Bulgarian woman, Martha Maiko. In 1935, an American tourist, Randolph Eastman, during a thunderstorm asked to stay in her house until the storm ended. A week later they were married, but 2 months later the man was killed by lightning. Later Maiko remarried, this time to a Frenchman named Charles Mort. During their trip to Spain her second husband also was struck by lightning. The widow returned to Sofia and started therapy to heal from depression. Later on she married the doctor she was getting the treatment from. They were married in Berlin, but during a trip to France a lightning bolt hit the car they were driving. The third husband was killed on the spot. As far as the facts say, she was not married for a fourth time.





No one to this day can explain a terrible tragedy that took place in Japan. A class of school students went on a trip. A school teacher told the class to hold onto a rope. Lightning struck and traveled through the rope, killing exactly half of the students. The oddest part is that each even-numbered child in the line was killed and none of the students in odd-numbered positions were even burned.

So even if you a fan of lightning be careful and remember that no one knows its behavior. If you just can’t live without watching the lightning maybe it would be better to purchase a plasma ball!








Related Entries

104
votes
Strange thing about the news...
by Panther on Jul/21,2014 ( diamond user)
26
votes
11 lies we believe as common facts.
by Blue on Sep/07,2015 ( diamond user)
114
votes
Fascinating food facts.
by Regikumar Chandran on Feb/10,2012 ( diamond user)
335
votes
Aeroplane struck by lightning
Admin on Jun/10,2007  
530
votes
Interesting engineering.
by Jasleen Kaur on Sep/01,2010 ( diamond user)
136
votes
Very Interesting - Try it Yourself
by Monika on Oct/26,2009 ( diamond user)
2 k
votes
Some Cool facts !!!
Admin on Feb/17,2007  
193
votes
15 things worth knowing about coffee.
by Regikumar Chandran on Apr/03,2012 ( diamond user)
23
votes
Fact about the letters a b c & d.
by Nma.Nadaf on Jun/02,2011 ( diamond user)
70
votes
What your username says about you
by Nuzhat Ny on Oct/09,2011 ( diamond user)
63
votes
Few Facts about Gold.
by Toddler13 on Oct/22,2011 ( diamond user)
156
votes
Interesting Facts About Animals
by Panther on Sep/23,2011 ( diamond user)
47
votes
Top facts about Sleep you didn't know.
by Mdsingh on Sep/23,2014 ( diamond user)
131
votes
Banana facts.
by Regikumar Chandran on Feb/17,2012 ( diamond user)
28
votes
50 wonderful facts.
by Raj Kumar on Nov/25,2015 ( diamond user)
562
votes
Interesting, Bad Engrish
by Portonovo Kajanazimudeen on Dec/13,2009 ( diamond user)
19
votes
5 popular myths about water.
by Toddler13 on Aug/06,2015 ( diamond user)
72
votes
Did you know about vodka?
by Aaradhya Sharma on Nov/01,2011 ( gold user)
255
votes
Interesting Snaps
by Inzamam Mohamed on Dec/03,2010 ( diamond user)
23
votes
Interesting one
Admin on Feb/17,2007  

Random Pics



Share this with friends

Your Name:
Your Email:

Friends Email: (Atleast 1)


Subscribe for more Fun

Receive best posts in your inbox.

Confirm email
Your Email



Add Your Comments

comments powered by Disqus
User generated content. Copyright respective owners wherever applicable. Contact - admin at binscorner