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19 People Who Survived Getting Struck By Lightning Show What It Does To Your Skin
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Nature, Science3 years ago

19 People Who Survived Getting Struck By Lightning Show What It Does To Your Skin

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 in a lightning strike could do to a human.

When the lightning 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 lightning strike 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 some of the people that have shared their survival stories with us!

(h/t allthatisinterestingbusinessinsider)

The odds of getting struck by lightning in any given year are about 1 in 300,000

Image credits: unknown

And although roughly 90% of those struck survive, the electrical discharge scars some of them with a tattoo-like mark

Image credits: unknown

It is known as the Lichtenberg figure

Image credits: whampbeef

A lightning bolt can heat the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (27,760 degrees Celsius)

Image credits: unknown

This is five times hotter than the sun

Image credits: unknown

A cloud-to-ground strike cal also contain up to 1 billion volts of electricity

Image credits: unknown

When this amount of energy enters your body, it short-circuits the small electrical signals that run the heart, lungs, and nervous system

Image credits: unknown

This can lead to cardiac arrest, seizures, brain injury, spinal cord damage, and amnesia

Image credits: nejm

The blistering heat, light, and electricity can also damage your eyes

Image credits: unknown

For example, it can bore holes in your retina and cause cataracts (cloudings of the lenses)

Image credits: unknown

Unfortunately for men, lightning can also induce impotence and decrease libido in general

Image credits: CBS

The Lichtenberg figures are the results of the lightning moving toward the surface of the body

Image credits: unknown

When it forces the red blood cells out of your capillaries

Image credits: unknown

A man called Winston Kemp was struck by lightning back in 2011

Image credits: nejm

Ironically, the man is an electrician

Image credits: sciencegeekgirl

“I went outside to save my pumpkins. After that, I was going back inside”

Image credits: geardiary

“I just know it struck in our neighbor’s backyard, and it was bright and loud. I didn’t feel anything”

Image credits: geardiary

“I just came back inside like nothing was wrong. Umm…my arm was sore. <…> [It was] maybe an hour before I saw the marks”

Image credits: geardiary

“A few hours after it happened it really started to bother me. The next day it was bad. The blisters started forming; they were really big” They kept on growing for a week!

Image credits: geardiary

Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year

Image credits: Kansas City Golf ‏

And they can also engrave fields of grass

Image credits: Anna Garcia ‏

So golf courses can really highlight these Lichtenberg figures

Image credits: beingto

Which are named after the German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg who originally discovered and studied them

Image credits: Anna Garcia ‏

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Zenozenobee
Community Member
3 years ago

That's what we see from the outside, I wonder the consequences on the organs. I hope for them it didn't damage anything and that it's not too painful.

Bunzilla
Community Member
3 years ago

The third picture down, ouch! That one certainly looks painful :( the poor guy.

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Laugh Fan
Community Member
3 years ago

The patterns it can leave may look beautiful but, OW. Must be so painful.

Dilly Millandry
Community Member
3 years ago

It's almost like the patterns left by 'Jack Frost' on the inside of window panes in unheated houses.

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Molly Block
Community Member
3 years ago

I was struck by ground lightning last Fall. We had one huge old 100+ year oak that was our main shade tree. It was 20 mins after a storm, the sun was out, skies blue. I heard no thunder. Then out of nowhere an incredibly loud BANG and WHITE LIGHT and the lightning hit that tree! I was not under it, but not far from it. I felt the lightning go through my body. I was lucky! About 4 months later, that old oak was dead. All brown leaves. We had to have it cut down. It was SCARY!!!! Like you've heard, the dangerous time is AFTER the storm, when you think it's safe!! It isn't.

Laugh Fan
Community Member
3 years ago

That's scary. Saw your second comment regarding the awning and the girl there dying. So sad. We always were told as children to stay away from trees and that cars were the safest place because of tyres being made of rubber. You can't always be prepared for random though!

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Zenozenobee
Community Member
3 years ago

That's what we see from the outside, I wonder the consequences on the organs. I hope for them it didn't damage anything and that it's not too painful.

Bunzilla
Community Member
3 years ago

The third picture down, ouch! That one certainly looks painful :( the poor guy.

Load More Replies...
Laugh Fan
Community Member
3 years ago

The patterns it can leave may look beautiful but, OW. Must be so painful.

Dilly Millandry
Community Member
3 years ago

It's almost like the patterns left by 'Jack Frost' on the inside of window panes in unheated houses.

Load More Replies...
Molly Block
Community Member
3 years ago

I was struck by ground lightning last Fall. We had one huge old 100+ year oak that was our main shade tree. It was 20 mins after a storm, the sun was out, skies blue. I heard no thunder. Then out of nowhere an incredibly loud BANG and WHITE LIGHT and the lightning hit that tree! I was not under it, but not far from it. I felt the lightning go through my body. I was lucky! About 4 months later, that old oak was dead. All brown leaves. We had to have it cut down. It was SCARY!!!! Like you've heard, the dangerous time is AFTER the storm, when you think it's safe!! It isn't.

Laugh Fan
Community Member
3 years ago

That's scary. Saw your second comment regarding the awning and the girl there dying. So sad. We always were told as children to stay away from trees and that cars were the safest place because of tyres being made of rubber. You can't always be prepared for random though!

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