Tag Archives | Lightning

Strange Ball Lightning Caught on High-Speed Video

English: Some scientific groups, including the...

Some scientific groups, including the Max Planck Institute, have reportedly produced a ball lightning-type effect by discharging a high-voltage capacitor in a tank of water. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chinese scientists gain new information on ball lightning from a chance recording.

via Live Science

A video recorded by accident of ball lightning in China is now shedding light on the phenomenon’s mysterious origins, researchers say.

Ball lightning occurs as glowing spheres ranging in size from a golf ball to a very large beach ball (1 to 100 centimeters, or 0.4 inches to 39 inches, in diameter). These fiery orbs can be white, yellow, red, orange, purple or green, and can persist for seconds or even minutes. Ball lightning typically appears during thunderstorms and usually hovers near the ground, drifting over the Earth at a few miles per hour, but it has also been seen on ships and even within airplanes.

Over the centuries, people have reported thousands of sightings of ball lightning.

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Mystery “Organism” Appears In Man’s Lawn Following Lightning Strike

alienmysterymeatIs this how the alien invasion begins? If you believe that the weather foreshadows far-reaching change, it may be time to worry, after a yet-unidentified object (or creature) fell from above, or emerged from below, on a reddit user’s property following a lightning strike. Via Who Forted?:

Did an alien creature just land on Earth? Did a bolt of electricity blast some poor squirrel inside out? Just what in god’s name is that thing?

Those are just a few of the questions asked after a streak of lightning struck a man’s front yard this weekend, blowing a hole in the ground and revealing a Lovecraftian monstrosity smoking in the dirt. Immediately, theories began to pour in from morbidly curious internet slueths, ranging from everything to a coagulated earthworm colony, to fulgarite, to a fried Koosh ball.

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Hallucinations Caused By Lightning

A trope of pulp fantasy is the lightning bolt strike that grants its target strange powers. Mind Hacks discusses how this occurred, in a sense, when a healthy 23-year-old mountain climber was hit by lightning and suffered impact to her visual cortex. After rescue and three days spent in a drug induced coma, she awoke to a strange world, thus described by the British Medical Journal:

These exclusively visual sensations consisted of unknown people, animals and objects acting in different scenes, as if in a movie. For example, an old lady was sitting on a ribbed radiator, who then became thinner and thinner, finally vanishing through the slots of the radiator. Later, on her left side a cowboy riding on a horse came from the distance. As he approached her, he tried to shoot her, making her feel defenceless because she could not move or shout for help.

In another scene, two male doctors, one fair and one dark haired, and a woman, all with strange metal glasses and unnatural brownish-red faces, were tanning in front of a sunbed, then having sexual intercourse and afterwards trying to draw blood from her.

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Lightning & Disease: A Primitive Thought System Overturned

For most of human history, life has been a struggle – a struggle against predators, against disease, against natural disasters, and against our fellow human beings as we find ourselves all thrown together on a single planet, vying for limited resources.  In the words of the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, life for the many has been “nasty, brutish, and short.”

Foremost among our ongoing challenges, however, and rising above all the others, is the struggle against our own ignorance.  Like newborn infants, naked and helpless, humans have been thrust into this world without the benefit of any instruction book to show us the way.  It is only through patience and ingenuity (and a fair amount of dumb luck) that we have managed to rise above our brute animal nature to occasionally achieve something resembling peace and civility.  Obviously, we still have a long way to go, but if we as a species hope to continue our stumbling progress towards a happier, healthier future, we must acknowledge the various pitfalls and dead ends we’ve encountered along the route, starting with those of the distant past.… Read the rest

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See a Plane Get Struck by Lightning (Video)

Plane Hit By LightningNatalie Wolchover writes on Life's Little Mysteries via MSNBC:
When an Airbus 380 from Dubai came in for landing at Heathrow Airport on a recent stormy night in London, it was struck by a giant bolt of lightning. The event was caught on camera, giving the world a rare glimpse of what's actually a common occurrence. "In the video, this is without a doubt a triggered flash," Mazur told Life's Little Mysteries. "You can see it's a dark sky, so you have rain and other evidence of a recent thunderstorm. Natural lightning had most likely ended already, but in decaying storms you have a very high electric field. It's enough to support the development of lightning, but there is no natural mechanism for initiating lightning discharge. When an airplane comes in, it acts as an artificial trigger."
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The Statue of Liberty Hit By Lightning

Statue of Liberty Hit By LightningVia Metro (UK):
This is the moment the Statue of Liberty was hit by lightning — and caught on camera by a photographer who waited two hours in a storm-hit New York City. New Yorker Jay Fine apparently waited more than 40 years for the shot before braving the storm last month in Manhattan's Battery Park City. The 58-year-old photographer caught the incredible snap — but it was a rather arduous process capturing the perfect picture. He said: 'I had been watching weather reports so I knew a storm was coming and it just seemed like a great opportunity. 'I was ready and waiting and took 81 shots before finally getting this one. 'I was shocked when I realised what had happened. 'It was pure luck really, a once in a lifetime opportunity. It's the first photograph of its kind I have ever seen.'
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13-Year-Old Boy Hit By Lightning at 13:13 on Friday the 13th

Via MSNBC: Lightning Hits Tree
A 13-year-old boy was struck by lightning — at 13:13 hours on Friday the 13th, according to reports. The teen was watching an air show at Lowestoft, England, when he was struck and was later treated for burns to his shoulder, the UK's Mirror newspaper said. He is expected to fully recover.
Rex Clarke, leader of the St. John Ambulance team that treated the child, described what happened. "Suddenly there was this huge crack of lightning really close to the seafront and really loud thunder," he told the Mirror. "Seconds later we got a call someone had been hit. The boy was breathing and was conscious."
"He had a minor burn to his shoulder and was taken to hospital as a precaution. It could have been a lot worse," he said, adding: "It's all a bit strange that he was 13, and it happened at 13:13 on Friday the 13th."
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Zeus Strikes Parthenon With Lightning Bolt

OK, the headline’s a little over the top, but what a photo, from the Daily Mail/AP:

It looks like a narrow escape for one of mankind’s most ancient symbols.

parthenon

A bolt of lightning illuminates the sky around the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple, high on the Acropolis during a heavy rainfall in Athens early this morning.

Fortunately, the temple is believed to have escaped any damage.

[story continues in the Daily Mail/AP]

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Lightning Burns Up Six-Story Jesus Statue in Ohio (Video)

Lightning Strikes Jesus StatueAct of God? Can you believe this statue was nicknamed "Touchdown Jesus"? Man, God is a tough quarterback ... Reports the AP:
A six-story statue of Jesus Christ was struck by lightning and burned to the ground, leaving only a blackened steel skeleton and pieces of foam that were scooped up by curious onlookers Tuesday. The "King of Kings" statue, one of southwest Ohio's most familiar landmarks, had stood since 2004 at the evangelical Solid Rock Church along Interstate 75 in Monroe, just north of Cincinnati. The sculpture, about 62 feet tall and 40 feet wide at the base, showed Jesus from the torso up and was nicknamed "Touchdown Jesus" because of the way the arms were raised, similar to a referee signaling a touchdown. It was made of plastic foam and fiberglass over a steel frame, which is all that remained Tuesday. The nickname is the same used for a famous mural of the resurrected Jesus that overlooks the Notre Dame football stadium.
The fire spread from the statue to an adjacent amphitheater but was confined to the attic area, and no one was injured, police Chief Mark Neu said.
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