Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Getting Struck By Lightning

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Getting Struck By Lightning

What does a lightning strike do to your body? Can you survive it? Here's the low-down on getting hit by millions of volts.

04:00

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Every second, lightning strikes about 100 times around the world. (0:04)

  • 2

    If you survive being struck by lightning, here's what to expect: (1:53)

  • 3

    Being struck by lightning is not something many doctors are prepared to treat. (3:09)

02:33

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Lightning is more likely to strike metal because lightning bolts are just long strings of fast-flowing electrons looking for the easiest path from point A to point B, and no material provides an easier path than metal. (0:00)

  • 2

    A metal suit protects you during a thunderstorm for the same reason it attracts lightning bolts: electrons glide so easily over metal that they barely penetrate the surface, so whatever is inside of a metal container stays safe. Physicists call this a Faraday cage, or in the case of the steel-woven clothing worn by linemen working on high-voltage wires, a Faraday suit. (0:34)

  • 3

    If you do find yourself in a field during a thunderstorm and can't head indoors, the best thing to do is crouch low and keep your feet together. This makes the electrons travel through your legs -- an inefficient path they're unlikely to travel. Even if they do travel up one leg, they'll travel back down the other, helping them miss vital organs. (1:23)

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