Lightning Facts: Interesting facts about the lightning you never knew

1. The speed of lightning.

While the flashes of lightning, which we see, travel at the speed of light, which is about 670,000,000 mph, but the lightening itself is a bit slower, about 270,000 mph, to be precise.

2. Being hit by lightning causes weird skin designs called “Lichtenberg figures.”

3. When lightning strikes sand or sandy soil, it fuses together the grains to create a small glass-like tube known as a fulgurite.

Image: Pinterest

They are not only prized by collectors; they are also of great scientific value in demonstrating the past occurrence of lightning storms.

4. Lightning is pretty hot.

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It is about 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit — roughly five times hotter than the surface of the sun!

5. Helicopters cause lightning.

Image: Aircraftcompare

Recent studies showed by Met Office that while flying, the helicopter acquires a negative charge, so if it passes close to an area that is positively charged (e.g., hail or the base of a cumulonimbus cloud), it can trigger a lightning strike.

6. Volcanic lightning is rare.

Image: Getty Images/Mike Lyvers

When an eruption occurs, earth and ash are thrown into the air in a giant plume, colliding to create an electrical charge. In the same way as regular lightning, the imbalance between the plume’s electrical charge and the atmosphere’s charge leads to lightning strikes but is pretty rare.

7. Lightning also strikes multiple places at once.

Image: Pinterest

Not only does it strike the same places more than once, but also a single lightning bolt can strike more than one place at the same time.

8. Lightning kills more men than women.

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According to the National Weather Service, 81 percent of the lightning-related fatalities between 2006 and 2013 were men.

9. A man claimed lightning restored his sight.

Edwin Robinson, a resident of Falmouth, Massachusetts, was blinded by a car accident in 1971. He was struck by lightning in June 1980, knocking him unconscious for 20 minutes. Upon awaking, Robinson discovered that his sight had returned.

10. They are pretty frequent and kill a lot of people.

1,400,000,000 strikes every year. Around the world, there are over 3,000,000 flashes every day. That’s around 44 strikes every second, and also lightning kills about 2,000 people a year.

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