Lightning | Amazing Facts

Lightening Amazing Facts 4u

30 Awesome Facts About Lightning | Amazing Facts 4U

  • Amazing fact is that lightning flashes more than 3 million times a day worldwide. This is equivalent to 40 times per second but not all flashes reach the ground.
  • The average temperature of lightning is around 20000 °C (36000 °F) roughly more than 3 times hotter than the surface of the sun! However temperature in the path of a lightning bolt can reach as high as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Most lightning strikes average 2 to 3 miles long and carry a current of 10000 Amps at 100 million Volts.
  • Daytime lightning is difficult or impossible to see under local sun and/or hazy conditions. Night-time lightning can be seen up to 100 miles away.
  • The movement of rain and ice inside a thundercloud creates an electrical charge, with the negative charge (electrons) forming at the bottom of the cloud and the positive charge (protons) forming at the top. The water droplets and ice crystals carry the charge with them. Lightning is usually produced by cumulonimbus clouds that are very tall and dense.
  • That negative charge in the cloud creates a positive charge on Earth below, and the two charges start trying to connect completing a circuit.
  • Lightning can occur inside clouds, between clouds and from clouds to the ground.
  • Around one quarter of lightning is from cloud to ground.
  • The air between the clouds and Earth blocks the connection until the charge gets so strong that an electrical impulse called a “stepped leader” shoots down from the cloud.
  • The leader drops in steps of about 150 feet each at amazing 136,000 mph, until it almost reaches the ground. That’s when an electrical charge called a streamer rises up to meet it and complete the circuit.
  • Then a bolt of electricity streaks back up along the leader’s path at amazing 62 million mph and creates lightning. More bolts can rise up the same path again right after. Because it all happens so fast, all we see is one bolt of lightning.
  • Amazing fact is that all that energy travels along a path which is about as wide as a thumb! Lightning looks so much wider than it really is just because its light is so bright!
  • Lightning strikes in fact last just around 1 or 2 microseconds.
  • Most lightning occurs over land rather than oceans, with around 70% of it occurring in the Tropics.
  • The streamer can travel up through a building, a tree, or even a person while seeking the shortest route to complete the circuit which cause fatalities.
  • Lightning can be made in a laboratory by an instrument called a Van de Graaff static electricity generator which could generate million of volts of artificial lightning from a metal sphere mounted at the top of an insulated column.
  • Your chances of being struck by lightning are estimated to be 1 in 600,000. However about 70% of all people struck by lightning still survive.
  • Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
  • Lightning can strike the same place twice. Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide no protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal. In fact you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • It is a common  lightning myth that you will be electrocuted if you touch the victim. The human body does not store electricity. It is perfectly safe to touch a lightning victim to give them first aid  and it should be given immediately.
  • It’s a myth that if outside in a thunderstorm, you should seek shelter under a tree to stay dry. Being underneath a tree is the second leading cause of lightning casualties. Better to get wet instead in rain.
  • It is also a myth that if trapped outside and lightning is about to strike, you should lie flat on the ground. In fact lying flat increases your chance of being affected by potentially deadly ground current. Instead you keep moving toward a safe shelter.
  • Florida is the lightning capital of the United States.
  • In the past 10 years, more than 15,000 fires have been started by lightning in the western United States and Alaska.
  • It is estimated that Lightning kills about 2,000 people a year Worldwide. It is safer to be at home during lightning storms.
  • Lightning rods (also called conductors) seen at the top of tall buildings are metal rods or similar objects that divert lightning safely to the ground.
  • Truck driver Edwin Robinson had been blinded in a traumatic traffic accident in 1971 but his sight was miraculously restored nine years later when he was struck by lightning after taking shelter from a thunderstorm under a tree. He was unconscious for 20 minutes. That evening his vision began to clear eventually restoring his ability to read. Doctors are amazed.
  • Lightning Strikes create powerful radio waves in the frequency range of 3 KHz (audio, VLF) through 10 MHz (shortwave radio). The VLF (3000 Hz to 30000 Hz) “lightning signatures” can travel around the world, allowing monitoring of world-wide lightning. The shortwave “lightning signatures can travel half-way around the Earth’
  • The best region to listen for distant shortwave lightning signatures is from 2 MHz through 7 MHz. After 3 a.m. local time you can listen to 3 MHz and hear the beautiful dispersion ringing of the static as it bounces back and forth between the earth and ionosphere. It can at times sound like hundreds of tiny bells ringing at once!
  • The study of lightning is known as fulminology. Astraphobia is the fear of thunder and lightning.

 By Amazing Facts 4U Team 

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