These 19 People Were Struck By Lightning And What Happened To Their Skin Is Incredible

These 19 People Were Struck By Lightning And What Happened To Their Skin Is Incredible

These 19 People Were Struck By Lightning And What Happened To Their Skin Is Incredible

Being struck by lightning sounds pretty cool, right? I mean, if there’s one thing that blockbuster movies and comic books have taught me it’s that if you get struck by lightning, you are 100% guaranteed to gain superpowers. And who in their right mind would NOT want superpowers!?

Yeah, pretty freakin’ cool. However, I’ve been doing some research and well… I don’t know how to break this to you folks, but apparently, when it comes to being struck by lightning, that is not the case at all. I know, I know, I was as shocked and as heartbroken as I bet you are right now.

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Apparently, the odds of actually getting struck by lightning in any given year are about 1 in 300,000… so basically, if you do happen to get struck by lightning, you can consider yourself pretty darn unlucky.

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Well, unlucky for getting struck by lightning in the first place… but lucky if you survive it, I guess. Having said that, roughly 90% of those struck actually do tend to survive, but the electrical discharge scars some of them with a crazy tattoo-like mark for the rest of their life.

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This terrifying (but also kinda beautiful) phenomenon is known as the Lichtenberg figure.

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Let me tell you folks (all I’m not sure I really need to) lightning is no JOKE. A lightning bolt can heat the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (27,760 degrees Celsius). So, yeah, it’s pretty freakin’ hot.

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SO hot, in fact, that it’s actually five (Yep, that’s right, FIVE) times hotter than the sun. THE SUN.

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A cloud-to-ground strike can also contain up to 1 billion volts of electricity, Which is enough to power out an entire city. Like I said… it’s no joke.

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Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly like the idea of ANY amount of electricity in my body, nevermind 1 billion volts of it. When this amount of energy enters your body, it short-circuits the small electrical signals that run the heart, lungs, and nervous system… which does NOT sound like a good time. Like, at all.

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For obvious reasons, this can lead to things such as cardiac arrest, seizures, brain injury, spinal cord damage, and even amnesia.

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The blistering heat, light, and electricity can also damage your eyes… and here’s me thinking it’d give you inhuman superpowers.

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For example, it can bore HOLES in your retina and cause cataracts (which basically means the clouding of the lenses). Fun, right?

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And even more unfortunately for men, lightning can also induce impotence and decrease libido in general (finally, something that actually does more damage to men than it does to women, am I right, ladies!?)

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

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This is because it basically forces the red blood cells out of your capillaries. Gotta love the majesty of science eh folks?

Image credits: nejm

There’s a man called Winston Kemp who was actually struck by lightning way back in 2011.

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Ironically enough (and I know you shouldn’t really laugh at stuff like this, but what the heck), Winston was, of all things, an electrician.

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Winston explained what happened that fateful night;

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

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

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

At least we know it isn’t painful in the beginning eh?

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“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”

The arks kept on growing for a WHOLE FREAKIN’ WEEK! Can you imagine!?

Image credits: Kansas City Golf ‏

Reportedly, lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year… and if you live in Florida, it strikes 25 million times a week.

(I’m joking, obviously, it just feels like that)

Image credits: Anna Garcia ‏

Which means typically, you can see the marks engraved of fields of grass pretty often.

Image credits: Anna Garcia

So golf courses can really highlight these Lichtenberg figures. And they’re just as pretty on grass as they are on human skin… just less freakin’ dangerous.

Image credits: Anna Garcia ‏

And the marks themselves are actually named after the German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, who was the wonderful (and possibly crazy) man who originally discovered and studied them in the first place.



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