You might blow your eardrums, pass out and have third degree burns if nature’s party strikes.
It’s lightning season where I live, and I love it. It’s amazing to watch nature’s display from someplace safe inside, and wonder at its power.
It’s also really easy to convince myself that lightning is dangerous but would, of course, never, ever strike me. Certainly I can swim in the pool with those lingering clouds and far off rumbles of thunder without a problem because it’s only reckless, foolish people with some kind of penchant for danger who are struck by lightning, right?
What do you mean I should move my laptop and phone because they might fall off the diving board? I mean, live a little, peeps! Water was meant to bind with Mac products like white icing on a Duncan Hines birthday cake, right?!
Complete denial. Here are the stats: over the last 40 years, (regardless of the warnings), an average of 47 people have died each year from being struck by lightning in the U.S.
You have about a 1 in a million chance of being struck in any given year, and a 1 in 13,500 chance of being hit by lightning in your lifetime, according to the National Weather Service.
By comparison, the Huffington Post feels that you have a 1 in 175 million chance of winning the Powerball Lottery, just in case you were wondering.
So, admittedly, the chances are slim but possible. So, what would happen to you if it did happen? Well, you could, of course, die. Apart from that, here are 6 things ways the human body is altered if struck by lightning:
1) You Can Suffer Third Degree Burns
A lightning strike brings about 300kV of energy to your body. In doing so, it heats up the air around you to a balmy 50,000 degrees F, causing you to develop 3rd degree burns on your skin. These can happen in the location where the lightning bolt enters your body and exits.
2) You Can Get Bolt-Shaped Marks on Your Skin
Because of the force of lightning, you can also experience burst blood vessels. This can leave something called Lichtenberg figures, or burn marks in the shape of a lightning bolt, on your skin. You become Captain Marvel.
3) You Might Experience Cardiac Arrest
One of the scariest effects of a strike can be going into cardiac arrest. Lightning has so much electrical force that it messes with your heart beat. After a strike, you can experience an irregular heart beat and permanent damage to your heart, as well as to other vital organs.
4) You Could Lose Consciousness
If you’re struck, you can pass out, suffer brain damage as the lightning cooks you up, and experience short-term memory loss. Some individuals even end up in a coma for years, although it’s rare.
5) You Can Have Seizures
In line with #4, since lightning can affect your brain, you could experience seizures as the result of a hit.
6) You Might Blow Your Ear Drums
The power of being struck by lightning is so strong that it can also cause your ear drums to blow out. Ouch.
So, no excuses. Get inside when iffy weather hits, and stay safe. For more information on being struck by lightning, click here.
Photo credits: Alik Mulikov/Bigstock; iiievgeniy/Bigstock; New SIGHT Photography/Bigstock