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Monday, 18 January 2016

Lightning

Lightning is a powerful natural electrostatic discharge of lighted streaks produced during a thunderstorm.

Lightning isn't just found in thunderstorms - it's been seen in volcanic eruptions, forest fires, heavy snowstorms, and in large hurricanes.

SCIENCE

A lightening bolt can generate temperatures up to five times hotter than can be found on the surface of the sun.

The typical bolt of lightning heats the atmosphere to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.


You always see lightning before you hear thunder because light travels at more than 299 million metres per second, while sound moves at just 340 metres per second.

The number of seconds between when you see lightning and hear thunder divided by 5 = how many miles away the lightning is.

The visible flash that you see when lightning strikes is actually from the ground up to the clouds, not from the clouds down to the ground.

5% of lightning strikes are positively charged, and they can be up to 10 times stronger than a negatively-charged bolt.

FREQUENCY

Lightning strikes our planet somewhere more than seventeen million times every day, or about two hundred times every second.

The spots on the planet with the highest amount of lightning are Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo


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The U.S. city with the highest rate of lightning strikes per capita is Clearwater, Florida.

HUMAN RELATED

The worst lightning strike disaster ever recorded occurred on June 26, 1807, when lightning struck a fortress in the Luxembourg city of Kirchberg during the Napoleonic wars.  The fortress was stockpiled with weapons and ammunition and when it was struck by lightning, the ammunition burst into flames causing a huge explosion. The blast and the ensuing raging fire completely destroyed two blocks, igniting other fires in adjacent properties and causing the deaths of over 300 people.

Lightning strikes can produce severe injuries, and have a mortality rate of between 10% and 30%, with up to 80% of survivors sustaining long-term injuries.

Over the last 20 years, the United States averaged 51 annual lightning strike fatalities, placing it in the second position, just behind floods for deadly weather.

Men are struck by lightning four times more than women.

Fear of thunder and lightning is 'astraphobia'.


A person struck by lightning is more likely to suffer from Motor Neurone disease.

According to an interview he gave to Newsweek, Jim Caviezel was struck by lightning while filming the Sermon on the Mount scene for the Passion of the Christ movie.

You are 100 times more likely to be struck by lightning standing under an oak than a beech.

FUN LIGHTNING FACTS

In the late 1770s fashionable women of Paris never went out in blustery weather without a lightning rod attached to their hats.

When the world's longest lightning bolt struck over Oklahoma in 2007, it traveled about three-quarters of the length of the state.

The longest duration for a single flash of lightning is 7.74 seconds, which occurred over France in 2012.

Five per cent of lightning strikes are positively charged, and they can be up to ten times stronger than a negatively-charged bolt.

A bolt of lightning contains enough energy to toast 160,000 pieces of bread.

Lightning is the cause of most forest fires.

Carnivorous animals will not eat another animal that has been hit by a lightning strike.

Source Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999

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