The odds of getting struck by lightning in any given year are about 1 in 300,000. And although roughly 90% of those struck survive, the electrical discharge scars some of them with a tattoo-like mark, known as the Lichtenberg figure. But that’s not all.
A lightning bolt can heat the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (27,760 degrees Celsius) – which is five times hotter than the sun – and can contain up to 1 billion volts of electricity. It’s terrifying to imagine what this amount of energy could do to a human.
When it enters your body, it short-circuits the small electrical signals that run the heart, lungs, and nervous system. This can lead to cardiac arrest, seizures, brain injury, spinal cord damage, and amnesia. The blistering heat, light, and electricity can also damage your eyes. For example, it can bore holes in your retina and cause cataracts, a clouding of the lenses. Unfortunately for men, lightning can also induce impotence and decrease libido in general.
As the lightning moves toward the surface of the body, it can force red blood cells out of your capillaries, into your epidermis. Like a bruise. These scars are the earlier mentioned Lichtenberg figures. The insane temperatures can also heat up any metal you’re wearing, causing third-degree burns. Or rapidly vaporize the sweat or rain on your skin. Sometimes, this steam explosion even blows off people’s clothes or shoes, leaving them nearly naked. Scroll down to meet…
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