Men are Four Times More Likely to Be Killed by Lightning
According to a study published by the National Weather Service, 82% of people killed by lightning are male. Alarmingly, the majority of these deaths occur during leisure activity. The most common activity that resulted in death by lightning? No, not golf. Fishing.
Photo copyright Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
The "Lightning Capital of the World" Might Not Be Where You Think It Is
What is the Lightning Capital of the World? While many believe it’s Florida, that distinction actually goes to Venezuela's Catatumbo River region. According to "The Guinness Book of World Records," the mouth of the Catatumbo River gets the highest number of lightning strikes per square kilometer per year. The region has experienced up to 3,600 per hour and an amazing 1.2 million lightning bolts per year.
Lightning Exists on Other Planets
Lightning doesn’t just occur here on Earth. Lightning has been confirmed through direct observation on Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus, and is suspected to take place on Uranus and Neptune. It’s also very likely that lightning occurs outside the Solar System.
Lightning is Even Hotter Than You Think
An average bolt of lightning contains 15 million volts of electricity and heats the air around it to more than 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That's more than five times hotter than the surface of the sun.
The Plane You're On Has Probably Been Struck By Lightning
Let’s start with the bad news. On average, every commercial airplane in the U.S. is struck by lightning once or twice each year. The good news? Today’s planes are equipped to take it. When lightning strikes, it usually hits one end of the plane, the electricity travels through the plane’s exterior skin, and leaves on the opposite end. So while these strikes are common, they pose little serious risk. In fact, the last commercial plane crash in the U.S. directly attributed to a lightning strike was in 1967.