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What happens to the body When Struck by Lightning? Meet the People Who Survived with Scary Lightning Scars

The odds of getting struck by lightning in your lifetime are about 1 in 12,000, but every once in a while, a human will provide an attractive target for lightning to unleash its energy upon. Each year, roughly 500 people are struck by lightning. About 90 per cent of those people survive.

How lightning forms

Though scientists are still unsure what causes this phenomenon, they believe that ice particles bumping together inside clouds generate an excess negative charge that collects at the bottom. Electrons in the ground beneath this charge can be repelled by its powerful charge, causing the ground beneath it to become positively charged.

There is an intense attraction between the cloud, and the ground as an insanely strong electrical field roils in the cloud above. The runaway force that discharges this field is lightning. At nearly 300,000 kilometres per hour, it hits the ground with an energy of 300 kV, up to 150 times that of an industrial shock. Even a nuclear reactor can’t match its power. Lightning hits the ground and creates a trail of plasma that fills the sky with those zigzags of blueish white light that we see as lightning.

What happens to the body when struck by lightning?

Lighting short-circuits the tiny electrical signals that run the heart, lungs, and nervous system when it enters your body. A cardiac arrest, seizures, brain injury, spinal cord damage, or amnesia could result. Your eyes can be damaged by the blistering heat, light, and electricity. For instance, you can develop cataracts, a clouding of your lenses, due to holes causing in your retina. Males can also experience impotence and a general decrease in libido because lightning can cause these problems.

Lightning can force blood cells from your capillaries into your epidermis as it moves toward the surface of the body. Any metal you’re wearing can also become hot, causing third-degree burns. You can also vaporize sweat and rain rapidly. Steam explosions can even blow off people’s clothes or shoes, leaving them nearly naked.

Lightning strikes can, however, sometimes result in strange superpowers. According to the University of Miami, neuroscientist Berit Brogaard, an orthopaedic surgeon struck by lightning, developed an urge to learn piano after lightning struck. Since the strike, he began hearing music in his head that he composed. He gave up his career as a surgeon after a few months and became a classical musician. Scientists are baffled by this type of phenomenon.

A theory being tested by Brogaard is that cell death caused by being struck by lightning might cause a one-time release of neurotransmitters in the brain. It makes it possible to reach previously inaccessible brain areas through the rewiring of neurons.

Here below are some people who survived the lightning, and they have lightning scars on their bodies.

#1 The odds of getting struck by lightning in any given year are about 1 in 300,000

The odds of getting struck by lightning in any given year are about 1 in 300,000

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#2 And although roughly 90% of those struck survive, the electrical discharge scars some of them with a tattoo-like mark

And although roughly 90% of those struck survive, the electrical discharge scars some of them with a tattoo-like mark

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#3 It is known as the Lichtenberg figure

It is known as the Lichtenberg figure

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#4 A lightning bolt can heat the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (27,760 degrees Celsius)

A lightning bolt can heat the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (27,760 degrees Celsius)

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#5 This is five times hotter than the sun

This is five times hotter than the sun

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#6 A cloud-to-ground strike cal also contain up to 1 billion volts of electricity

A cloud-to-ground strike cal also contain up to 1 billion volts of electricity

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#7 When this amount of energy enters your body, it short-circuits the small electrical signals that run the heart, lungs, and nervous system

When this amount of energy enters your body, it short-circuits the small electrical signals that run the heart, lungs, and nervous system

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#8 This can lead to cardiac arrest, seizures, brain injury, spinal cord damage, and amnesia

This can lead to cardiac arrest, seizures, brain injury, spinal cord damage, and amnesia

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#9 The blistering heat, light, and electricity can also damage your eyes

The blistering heat, light, and electricity can also damage your eyes

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#10 For example, it can bore holes in your retina and cause cataracts (cloudings of the lenses)

For example, it can bore holes in your retina and cause cataracts (cloudings of the lenses)

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#11 Unfortunately for men, lightning can also induce impotence and decrease libido in general

Unfortunately for men, lightning can also induce impotence and decrease libido in general

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

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

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#13 When it forces the red blood cells out of your capillaries

When it forces the red blood cells out of your capillaries

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#14 A man called Winston Kemp was struck by lightning back in 2011

A man called Winston Kemp was struck by lightning back in 2011

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#15 Ironically, the man is an electrician

Ironically, the man is an electrician

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

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

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

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

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

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#19 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” They kept on growing for a week!

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” They kept on growing for a week!

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#20 Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year

Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year

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#21 And they can also engrave fields of grass

And they can also engrave fields of grass

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#22 So golf courses can really highlight these Lichtenberg figures

So golf courses can really highlight these Lichtenberg figures

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#23 Which are named after the German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg who originally discovered and studied them

Which are named after the German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg who originally discovered and studied them

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Written by Trey Lennon

Award-winning blogger and author. I want to travel to every zoo in this world, currently completing my master’s degree in Psychology. I love cats..

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