Lightning is one of the most terrifying forces of nature that we witness today.
A single bolt of lightning can burn at up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It lasts for only microseconds. Lightning is often accompanied by a massive thunderous boom especially when striking nearby. The reality is that lightning is striking the planet almost every second somewhere in the world. Many of those lightning strikes take place over the ocean or in uninhabited areas. One man recently captured the full force of lightning on video.
Clint Blevins was in Daytona Beach, Florida one day. He was driving in the middle of a large storm. He was overlooking the water at the time. He had a strange feeling that something was going to happen. That is when Blevins decided to start recording the water. The video he captured was only around 21 seconds long. The first 10 seconds show nothing but the water.
A small bolt of lightning suddenly appears. It is followed by a single massive bolt of lightning that strikes the water. The lightning was only around a hundred yards away. It was followed by a thunderclap.
The video has gone viral. Many people are claiming that it is a fake. This is partly because the man managed to have his camera trained perfectly on an area where lightning would strike in the center of the frame. There is also some dispute about how the water moves and reacts to the lightning. Other people believe that the video is authentic.
“Funny, Im watching the lightning detector on my local news here in St Pete beach, and there sure as hell is a lot of lightning offshore (as usual) heading our way. The normal evening sea breeze storms dont seem to care when they are way out on the gulf…. Ive seen plenty of cloud to ground strikes at sea. A thunderstorm is a thunderstorm is a thunderstorm.
Of course, floating a balloon on a wire is totally different…”
“From the point of contact of the bolt, electrons rush out in all directions trying to get away from each other. As they spread out through the water, the voltage drops. These waves tend to move out horizontally more than into the ground below. There are usually several discharges down the same pathway to ground established with the initial discharge. Each produces a current of electrons flowing away from the point of contact. This continues out onto land with little effect on the discharge.
Things close to the point of contact will experience a voltage potential across the length of the object. Living things near the point of contact will experience a shock. What effect that shock has depends on many things, for instance how much salt you had on your eggs that morning.
Typically people in the water that are farther than about 20 ft from the point of contact survive the lightning strike.
Its best to be treading water (not touching the bottom) and not touching anything with your hands (grabbing a dock or boat). I dont think science has a good understanding of why this is. It appears that doing so provides a preferred channel for the current to flow along.
Lightning has been known to kill or at least stun every fish in a small pond, but this is pretty rare. Ponds tend to have taller things than the pond around them which gets struck much more often than directly into the pond surface. Oceans, big lakes and seas get struck directly, but their large size means that less marine creatures are killed or at least the ones that are killed are not noticed as much.” – Paul Montgomery, Electrical Engineer