How Big Is A Lightning Bolt?

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

The average lightning bolt measures about an inch wide and five miles long. But the longest bolt ever recorded occurred in the Dallas area, and crossed an impressive 118 miles. The temperature of lightning can reach around 50,000° F. The electricity in a single bolt can reach 200 million volts.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The hottest thing on Earth is lightning. 00:01

  2. Shockwaves from lightning bolts are created due to the intense heat of the lightning. 01:20

  3. Watch slow-motion footage of a miniature tree getting hit with artificial lightning: 04:09

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement