Littlehampton Lightning Protection – What are the facts and what are the myths?
Littlehampton Lightning Protection specialists Orion are here to lay down the law on lightning!
Lightning is one of the fiercest and most terrific forces of nature known to man – which is probably why a fair few myths have been perpetuated by those who speak in awe of it!
The trouble is there are so many out there that now it can be hard to tell what’s true and what’s not!
Fear not, though, as Orion are here to help you become the brightest spark of the bunch when it comes to the truth about lightning!
Does lightning really never strike the same place twice?
This one is so well-known it’s even made its way into our day-to-day idioms! It can be used to describe events unlikely to repeat themselves, or it can be used to reassure someone that something bad is unlikely to happen to them again.
The reality is that it is actually inevitable for lightning TO strike the same place twice!
Lightning striking a particular spot does nothing to change the electrical activity in the storm above or endow the previously-struck location with any repelling attributes, making it just as likely to be struck again as any other spot!
In fact, due to the location and height of some places, such as the Empire State Building in New York, lightning is bound to strike more regularly!
The Empire State Building gets hit by 25-100 lightning strikes per year!
Is lightning only dangerous when it’s raining?
Because of the way water conducts electricity, people sometimes assume that lightning is more dangerous when rain is falling – but you are still in danger even if it’s dry!
The truth is that lightning often strikes 3 miles outside a thunderstorm – and even from clear skies!
These “Bolts from the Blue” that come from clear skies can be as far as 25 miles from the nearest rain cloud!
Does wearing headphones make you more likely to be struck by lightning?
If you do happen to be out and about in a storm bopping along to “Grease Lightning” – you need not worry!
Wearing headphones, no matter how cheap, does not make you more or less susceptible to lightning strikes than anyone else.
The headphones may even help you!
The electricity from a lightning strike could travel down the wire and be diverted away from your heart – but that’s not a reason for anyone to think wearing headphones will make you immune to lightning!
Did Benjamin Franklin really discover electricity using a kite and lightning?
Perhaps the biggest lightning myth of all is the one told about United States Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, who some people believe discovered electricity by flying a kite in a lightning storm.
The story sometimes goes that Franklin flew a kite in a lightning storm which was then subsequently struck and thereby electricity was discovered.
The alleged reality is that the scientist was just trying to prove that lightning was electric – and that the kite was never “struck” by lightning per se, but that Franklin observed a spark when he moved his hand toward a key he had attached to the kite.
However, even this version of events is disputed by historians (and the Mythbusters!), who claim that:
- materials available in Franklin’s day wouldn’t be able to make a fly-able kite, and,
- if lightning had hit a kite like the one described, it would have killed Franklin!
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