Fact List Nature

25 Interesting Facts About Lightning

Here are 25 kickass and interesting lightning facts.

1-5 Facts

sun

1. A lightning bolt is 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun. – Source

2. Men are over 4 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women. – Source

3. A man named Walter Summerford was struck by lightning 3 times in his life. After his death, his gravestone was also struck. – Source

4. Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it’s a tall, pointy, isolated object. The Empire State Building is hit an average of 23 times a year.  – Source

5. Odds of being attacked by a Candiru (penis invading fish) are “about the same as being struck by lightning while simultaneously being eaten by a shark.” – Source

6-10 Facts

king-of-kings-statue

6. In 2010, King of Kings, a 62-foot Jesus statue built by a megachurch was struck by lightning and subsequently burned. – Source

7. A woman’s anus was severely burned after she was struck by the lighting in the mouth, which passed through her body and exited through the anus. – Source

8. Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus Christ in “The Passion of the Christ”, was struck by lightning during the film shoot on the set. – Source

9. The record holder for most survived lightning strikes, at 7, was struck while operating a truck, inside a ranger station, on two separate occasions after running/driving away from the storm, and immediately after the seventh strike he had to fight off a trout-stealing bear with a tree branch. – Source

10. A bolt of lightning killed an entire 11-man team with the opposing team remaining completely unharmed in 1998. – Source

11-15 Facts

brescia_capitoline_temple

11. Catholic church objected lightning rods until a gunpowder explosion in Brescia caused by a lightning strike killed 3000. – Source

12. John Aaron, a NASA flight controller, not only saved Apollo 12 after it was struck by lightning, but also saved the Apollo 13 crew by developing a unique power-up sequence to allow a safe reentry. – Source


13. There is a place in Venezuela where lightning strikes 280 to 3,600 times an hour, 300 nights per year. It is called Relámpago del Catatumbo, or “the everlasting storm”. – Source

14. There are two kinds of lightning, “positive” and “negative”. Positive is the most destructive of the two, but is believed to make up only 5% of lightning strikes. – Source

15. 323 reindeer were killed in a single lightning storm in Norway. Reindeer huddle together in bad weather, and their close proximity explains why so many were killed at once. – Source

16-20 Facts

mushrooms

16. A professor in Japan found that lightning strikes can double the size and amount of mushrooms in the wild. He decided to research this based on how consistently the myth of this phenomenon was found throughout the world. They suspect the electricity powers an enzyme that spurs growth. – Source

17. Lightning serves an important role in the nitrogen cycle by oxidizing diatomic nitrogen in the air into nitrates, which are deposited by rain and can fertilize the growth of plants and other organisms. – Source

18. Mary Ball Washington was terrified of lightning because while she was pregnant with George, a bolt of lightning traveled down her chimney. It shocked her and killed a dinner guest. – Source

19. Two paragliders were sucked into a thunderstorm during practice. The updraft was so powerful that one pilot was sucked up to 19,000 feet and killed by a lightning strike. The pilot of the second glider passed out from the altitude, but woke up still airborne and covered in ice. – Source

20. Lightning can cause red, jellyfish-shaped flashes as big as 48 by 48 km to appear above thunderclouds. These are called sprites (air spirits), after their elusiveness, and are actually clusters of balls of plasma. – Source

21-25 Lightning Facts

volcano-lightning

21. Volcanoes can generate large amounts of lightning.

22. In 2007, the First Mount Olive Free Will Baptist Church purchased a $150,000 Bentley, neglected to pay their $12,000 water bill, and defaulted on their $1.5 million mortgages. The church was struck by lightning and the subsequent fire completely destroyed the building. – Source

23. James Otis, a patriot of the American Revolution, told his sister that he hoped when he died he went out like a flash of lightning. He died in 1783 from being struck by lightning. – Source

24. Lightning bolts prefer to take the path that an aircraft or rocket previously took. – Source

25. A high school student was sucked out of an airplane after it was struck by lightning. She fell 3.2 kilometers to the ground still strapped to her chair and lived. Only to endure a 9-day walk to the nearest civilization. – Source

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