Monday, October 11, 2004

Struck by lightning

The only man to be struck by lightning seven times was park ranger Roy C Sullivan, the "human lightning conductor", of Virginia, USA. In his lightning encounters from 1942 to 1977, Roy had his hair set alight, lost his big toe nail and eyebrows, and suffered injuries to his arms, legs, chest, and stomach. In September 1983 he killed himself, reportedly rejected in love.

Lightning is responsible for approximately 100 deaths a year in the United States alone. A bolt of lightning can reach temperatures approaching 28,000 kelvin (or about 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit) in a split second. This is many times hotter than the surface of the sun.

No place is truly 100% safe in a thunderstorm, but some places are more safe than others. When inside, avoid use of the telephone (cellular and cordless telephone use is safe), taking a shower or bath, washing your hands, doing dishes, basically anything to do with water.