Lightning Filmed At Super Slow Speed

Note the tendrils that crawl around like little bugs searching for the quickest route to earth. The first of these that touches the ground is then used as a conduit to channel the main surge of electricity.

Apparently, in those initial stages (while the energy is seeking its most efficient path to earth) tiny ‘leaders’ will reach up and out of objects on the ground, kind of like antennaes of electricity. If your head happens to be the highest thing from the ground whilst in the vicinity of one of these bug-like earth seekers, whammo! You’ve had it. Apparently the first signs are a buzzing sound, the sensation of static electricity in the air around you, and your hair standing up on end. If you are lucky enough to realise this is happening you are to immediately fall to the ground in an effort to be the strikes’s least efficient path into the ground. Good luck 😉 Personally, I’d just stay indoors.

One more thing: something I always wondered when I was a kid. The sound of lightning, generally known as thunder, most people know happens after the flash, as sound travels considerably slower than light. However, what many people don’t know is that the sound of thunder itself is layer upon layer of air being super-heated from the source point of the lightning, in the sky, to its earthing point. As the lightning surges through the atmosphere these layers of air expand at super-speed into the surrounding cold air, causing an explosion of atomic friction and thus sound. This is why thunder sounds to us like tightly separated echoes (or crackles or a string of “pops”) as each layer of air, at differing distances from us, expands and thus causes friction and an explosion. The first crackle or pop that we hear will be the point closest to us, most likely on the ground, and thereafter the sound of the following explosions, or crackles, will be those that have actually already occurred further up the lightning ‘stem’ into the sky, further away from us.

Just thought I’d share that with you. Have a nice day 🙂


Filed under: Nature, Science, ,

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I'm a Media and Communications graduate from Goldsmiths College, London, a Project Manager and Web Developer (C#, PHP). In my spare time I like to write fiction, music, and read current affairs.

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