Lightning Facts

Lightning is one of nature’s most dangerous forces. Below are some interesting facts about the power lightning possesses.
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The world’s architectural wonders are frequent targets for lightning

The Vatican, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Seattle Space Needle, the Tower Bridge in London, and the Saint Louis Arch among others are repeatedly struck by lightning. The Empire State Building is hit nearly 100 times per year.

Lightning Facts: Lightning causes $5,000,000,000 in damage

The damage caused by lightning each year in the United States alone is estimated to be $5 billion.

25,000,000 lightning strikes in North America in a year

More than 25 million lightning strikes occur in North America every year. There are about 45 lightning strikes each second somewhere on earth.

Deadly force of nature - Most fatalities for lightning in the US on 4th of July

The Fourth of July is historically one of the most deadly times of the year for lightning in the US. It’s the time of the year when more people are outside on the beach, golf course, swimming pool, ballpark, and in the back yard. In general, there are more fatalities from lightning than from tornadoes or hurricanes in one year.


Lightning can strike far away from the storm

Lightning often strikes far away from a thunderstorm, with a bolt of lightning traveling as far as 40 miles.

The air surrounding a lightning strike is 5 times hotter than the sun

The air surrounding a lightning strike heats to around 50,000⁰ F. The surface of the sun is 10,000⁰ F.

Odds of being struck by lightning - 1 in 12,000

Even though the odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 12,000, some famous people have been the victim of nature’s electrical fury. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, actor Jim Caviezel, pro golfer Lee Trevino, and Cleveland Indians pitcher Ray Caldwell all lived to describe their close encounter with lightning.

Lightning Facts: Park Rangers appear to have higher odds

US Park Ranger Roy Sullivan defied those odds seven times!
He survived each strike.

Side effect of being struck by lightning - Red Lichtenberg

People who are struck by lightning are often temporarily covered with what’s known as red Lichtenberg figures, which are branching tree-like patterns created by the passage of high voltage electrical discharges along the skin.

Lightning Facts: Astraphobia

Astraphobia is the fear of thunder and lightning.

Lightning Facts: Lightning releases energy 

The energy from one lightning strike could power a 100-watt
light bulb for 3 months. 

Lightning Facts: Lightning is nature’s balancing act

Lightning starts with a negative charge in a cloud and a positive charge below on Earth. While the two charges attempt to create a circuit, the air between the clouds and Earth blocks the connection — until a giant spark of electricity discharges, moving to the ground in a powerful downstroke. It’s nature’s way of balancing positive and negative charges.

Lightning can melt & fuse sand

When a lightning bolt hits the ground it is so hot that it can melt and fuse sand, silica, and some soils, forming fulgurite – a hollow tube extremely similar to glass.

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