The Los Angeles Times reports a teenage couple was saved from possible death by lightning strike, because they were holding hands:
“Dr. Stefan Reynoso, who examined the couple afterward, said their hand-holding may have saved them from being hurt or killed.
“It helped to diffuse the electrical current that ran through their bodies,” Reynoso told reporters.”
The Times also reported on one Emily Davis, 31, a “Bay Area woman struck by lightning during a rainstorm last Monday who apparently escaped serious injury, with the only side effects being sore teeth and a metallic taste in her mouth. Lightning, though, apparently strikes twice in Davis’ family. She told NBC that her great-great-great-grandfather died after lightning hit him while sitting on a horse in Missouri.”
I always suspected that sitting astride a stallion in the Show Me State might prove fatal. Now I have historical confirmation.
To perk up this picayune piece, I may add that the National Weather Service says that chances of you being jolted by a bolt from the blue are 1 in 500-thousand; and that about 60 deaths are reported each year as a result of a direct lightning strike.
And in the south of France, mineralogists have discovered that lightning even rearranges granite at the atomic level. Yikes!
Discovery News explains: “Previously, scientists had known that lightning could cause some changes in rocks, in part by increasing their temperature. When lightning hits sand, for example, it melts the grains, which fuse and form glass tubes known as fulgurites. Scientists took samples from the rock in southern France, cut and polished them, and then examined them under an optical microscope. They found that the black outer layer of the fulgurite had a black, ceramic-like glaze that was extremely porous, due to the lightning’s heat when it vaporized the rock surface.”
I call dibbs on this discovery for a Hollywood movie about rocks struck by lightning that mutate into living things that invade a supermodel convention and wreak havoc with the bikini strings. I have tentatively entitled it “Invasion of the She Stones!”
Now don’t get all hide-in-the-basement on me when it comes to being struck by lightning. Wild Backpacker gives us some reassuring information on dodging the bullet, or, in this case, the spark: “Lightning strikes are preceded by a sensation of tingling or by your hair standing on end. If you have this feeling and are in or near a thunderstorm, your body has likely sent what is called a positive streamer. If this sudden charge connects with the electrons pooling beneath the storm clouds, lightning will strike you or within a very close proximity. If you feel this sensation, immediately crouch on the balls of your feet and hold your breath so as to not breathe in the superheated air that surrounds a lightning bolt.”
And, FYI, Ben Franklin may not have been the originator of the lightning rod. Seems there is a Leaning Tower of Nevyansk in Russia, with a working lightning rod on top that was installed approximately 25 years prior to Ben’s discovery of how to tame the lightning. No one knows who put it up . . .
(Cue the spooky theremin music . . .)
When it comes to lightning I can do without its charms.
I do not wish to be embraced in its electric arms.
Whenever stormclouds head my way, with bolts out of the sky,
I pull the covers overhead and try hard not to cry.
Perhaps my fears to you are just a subject for the mocking —
the day will come when you find out the subject is quite SHOCKING!