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(io9)   This is why you don't hide under a tree during a lightning storm   (io9.com) divider line 36
    More: Scary, thunderstorms, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Saratoga Springs, storm chasers, trees, National Weather Service  
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4512 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Jun 2014 at 1:09 AM (7 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



36 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-06-07 09:54:43 PM
Yikes.
 
2014-06-07 10:13:51 PM
When I see lips begging to be kissed, I can't stop, I can't stop myself!
 
2014-06-07 10:54:09 PM
Ack.  Holy shiat.
 
2014-06-08 12:10:33 AM
To avoid joining their ranks, follow this handy advice from the National Weather Service: "When thunder roars, go indoors."  Other advice includes: "When lightning flashes, stay 'way from splashes"; "Hear a loud bang, hide with your gang"; and the classic, "When Odin's hammering, wise dwarfs go scamperin'."
 
2014-06-08 12:16:39 AM
From a physics perspective, the clouds have extreme electrical charge.  The closest neutral charge ('ground' in American, 'earth' in English) is where a lightning strike actually originates.  You just want to be as flat as possible, and as non-conductive as possible.  If you have any umbrellas with metal spines, throw them away and buy a golf umbrella with a fiberglass spine.

/ex-caddy
 
2014-06-08 12:32:10 AM

syrynxx: You just want to be as flat as possible, and as non-conductive as possible.  If you have any umbrellas with metal spines, throw them away and buy a golf umbrella with a fiberglass spine.


Or just wear this:
rlv.zcache.com
 
2014-06-08 01:14:57 AM
I just run around in a big plastic hamster ball when it's lightning outside.
 
2014-06-08 01:15:21 AM
CSB: I was at an outdoor festival in an open field once and a thunderstorm broke out.  A bunch of us crowded in a tent held up by a big metal pole.  The lightning was close - like 1 second delay before booms.  I politely suggested to the dude leaning his back against the pole that it might be wise for him to move.  Then I got back near the edge of the tent.  No strikes, Zeus was merciful that day.
 
2014-06-08 01:15:57 AM
img1.wikia.nocookie.net

I beg to differ
 
2014-06-08 01:23:29 AM
I see all those other trees weren't hit.
Seems like being under a tree, your odds are pretty good.
 
2014-06-08 01:25:15 AM
Dayum.
 
2014-06-08 01:47:11 AM
I'd rather be hit by those branches than be the point of impact. In my late teens I hiked up a 9000ish foot tall mountain in the sky islands during monsoon season in Arizona, and I don't know that I've ever been so scared of weather as I was coming down off that mountain. There was a burn scarred area with lots of raspberries and I planned on picking a lot on my way back down. But a storm rolled in, it was insane, I was sprinting to get out of that clearing and eventually found refuge in an abandoned mine.
 
2014-06-08 01:52:35 AM

violentsalvation: I'd rather be hit by those branches than be the point of impact.


Luckily you have more than those two choices.  In any event, dead by being crushed by a smoldering tree trunk is still dead.
 
2014-06-08 02:04:07 AM

Theaetetus: To avoid joining their ranks, follow this handy advice from the National Weather Service: "When thunder roars, go indoors."  Other advice includes: "When lightning flashes, stay 'way from splashes"; "Hear a loud bang, hide with your gang"; and the classic, "When Odin's hammering, wise dwarfs go scamperin'."


If it's brown, flush it down!
 
2014-06-08 02:05:37 AM
cdn-static.zdnet.com
Hey Poseidon, hold my beer and watch this.
 
2014-06-08 02:24:46 AM

syrynxx: When I see lips begging to be kissed, I can't stop, I can't stop myself!


Agrees:  http://youtu.be/gma5IUNMTn0
 
2014-06-08 02:35:32 AM

Theaetetus: syrynxx: You just want to be as flat as possible, and as non-conductive as possible.  If you have any umbrellas with metal spines, throw them away and buy a golf umbrella with a fiberglass spine.

Or just wear this:
[rlv.zcache.com image 512x512]


Resistance is futile!
 
2014-06-08 02:45:47 AM
How else am I supposed to get either magnetic or lightning based powers if I'm not out there during every thunderstorm trying to get hit by lightning?
 
2014-06-08 02:50:23 AM

syrynxx: The closest neutral charge ('ground' in American, 'earth' in English) is where a lightning strike actually originates


I was under the impression that most cloud to ground lightning does actually originate from the cloud which is corroborated by high speed footage we have managed to take of "leaders" travelling from the cloud to the ground  (like this)
 
2014-06-08 02:56:50 AM

Wolf892: How else am I supposed to get either magnetic or lightning based powers if I'm not out there during every thunderstorm trying to get hit by lightning?


A valid point.  Just remember to keep a flask of sciency-looking chemicals nearby at all times to make sure the process is complete.
 
2014-06-08 03:01:16 AM

syrynxx: From a physics perspective, the clouds have extreme electrical charge.  The closest neutral charge ('ground' in American, 'earth' in English) is where a lightning strike actually originates.  You just want to be as flat as possible, and as non-conductive as possible.  If you have any umbrellas with metal spines, throw them away and buy a golf umbrella with a fiberglass spine.

/ex-caddy


Grinnell's cross country team got caught out in a huge thunderstorm a few years back.  They spent over an hour lying in a ditch (no other safe shelter) and all ended up with bruises from the hail.
 
2014-06-08 03:31:10 AM

the_sidewinder: syrynxx: The closest neutral charge ('ground' in American, 'earth' in English) is where a lightning strike actually originates

I was under the impression that most cloud to ground lightning does actually originate from the cloud which is corroborated by high speed footage we have managed to take of "leaders" travelling from the cloud to the ground  (like this)


So you're saying That a lightning bolt fills in like a circuit inflating, or a series of fluorescent tubes of increasing width and length until length and charge are negligibly neutral sounding and relased?

I'd hate to accidentally be controlling that particular desktop lamp ballast...
 
2014-06-08 03:52:33 AM

Hollie Maea: syrynxx: When I see lips begging to be kissed, I can't stop, I can't stop myself!

Agrees:  http://youtu.be/gma5IUNMTn0


god bless you both.
 
2014-06-08 05:57:49 AM

violentsalvation: eventually found refuge in an abandoned mine


woah! You got super lucky that you wern't struck by darkning, it strikes up from the deepest spot.
 
2014-06-08 08:25:14 AM

violentsalvation: I'd rather be hit by those branches than be the point of impact. In my late teens I hiked up a 9000ish foot tall mountain in the sky islands during monsoon season in Arizona, and I don't know that I've ever been so scared of weather as I was coming down off that mountain. There was a burn scarred area with lots of raspberries and I planned on picking a lot on my way back down. But a storm rolled in, it was insane, I was sprinting to get out of that clearing and eventually found refuge in an abandoned mine.


Done that too. Was lucky to be closer to the parking lot and got off the moutain. Saw it coming and knew with monsoon season those storms can be intense. I didn't like being up close and personal with one. It was quite scary.
 
2014-06-08 08:42:46 AM
My old boss in college raised cattle as a side business. He went out one day after a huge thunderstorm and found six cows under a tree...

...without their hooves.

Lightning had blown them off and scattered them all over the place.
 
2014-06-08 09:05:39 AM
With apologies to Lee Trevino...


You really should just grab a one-iron and hold it above your head in a thunderstorm. Because even God can't hit a one-iron accurately.
 
2014-06-08 09:26:05 AM
back in 2000 we had a bad thunderstorm in Seattle that came across the University of Washington Campus.  Naturally one kid decided to stand under a tree and ignore all the people shouting at him.   3 trees were hit, one with that stupid kid.  He survived, but spent a couple of weeks in an ICU.
 
2014-06-08 09:41:54 AM
CSB:  I once worked with a girl who was easily the stupidest person I've ever met.  One Monday morning a few of us were discussing our weekends and she told us about how she and her friend climbed a tree in order to get a better view of the lightning storm.  I mentioned how lightning tends to like hitting tall objects.  She disagreed.
 
2014-06-08 10:20:54 AM
I've been thinking, I wonder if you can get nanoscale vaan degraaf generator effects with hydrophobic surfaces and non-newtonian super-fulcrums on a modern attempt at grapeshot cannonballs. Maybe we finally figure out ball lightning with that one...
 
2014-06-08 10:23:49 AM
I forgot the charge carrier, but if its just a gas, it could be residue from whatever is powering the cannon.
 
2014-06-08 02:33:18 PM
The house I grew up in had the tallest tree on the block, until two lightning strikes and a windstorm knocked down the 3 tallest branches, over the course of 4 years.
 
2014-06-08 04:36:28 PM
Huge tree next to my house got struck and it pretty much exploded, the wood was slamming off the house just from the force of it. The tree actually caught fire on the inside. Scary shiat.
 
2014-06-08 05:34:06 PM
Never lie on the ground during a thunderstorm.

content.artofmanliness.com

Building the short circuit with your feet is key.  You'll get a good zap but the charge won't make it to your heart or brain.  The crouch position will also offer some protection from hail by facing the strongest areas of your body into the storm.  Note the covered ears to defend against the thunder shockwave.

The crouch position only defends against ground charge travelling horizontally after a nearby cloud-to-ground strike.  This is 90% of lightning so it's good to use.

/ Ground-to-cloud strikes from humans are always fatal.
 
2014-06-08 05:44:10 PM
A better picture of why laying down to avoid lightning is a bad idea:

www.angelfire.com

/ And never yell "RAT FARTS!" because it offends Zeus.
 
2014-06-08 10:00:28 PM
Holy shiat! I've seen a lightning strike blow pieces of bark off a tree before but I didn't know it could turn one into kindling.
 
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