Lightning is one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring natural phenomena on Earth.
Every year, there are an estimated 16 million lightning strikes in the United States alone.
Here are ten fun facts about lightning:
1. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from where it is raining.
2. A single bolt of lightning can contain up to 100 million volts of electricity.
3. The temperature inside a lightning bolt can reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit – five times hotter than the surface of the sun!
4. Lightning often occurs in areas with high humidity, such as near oceans or during thunderstorms.
5. The sound of thunder is caused by the rapid expansion of air heated by a lightning bolt.
6. Benjamin Franklin was one of the first people to study lightning scientifically and he invented the lightning rod to protect buildings from damage during storms.
7. Lightning kills an average of 49 people in the United States each year and injures hundreds more. Most deaths occur when people are struck while outdoors in open spaces or near tall objects such as trees or poles.
8. In addition to causing physical injuries, lightning can also cause neurological damage that may lead to memory loss, sleep disorders, and depression.
9. Some scientists believe that exposure to electromagnetic fields generated by lightning could be linked to an increased risk for certain types of cancer.
10. Lightning is one of nature’s most recurrent and common spectacles. Around the world, there are over 3,000,000 strikes every day. That’s around 44 strikes every second.