Lightning is a discharge of electricity, of enormous proportion. A single strike of lightning can heat the air in its path to around 30,000ºC, or about five times hotter than the surface of the sun.

Extreme heat happening in rapid progression causes the air to expand at explosive rate, creating a shock wave or the sound we know as thunder.

Lightning is spectacular and dangerous at the same time. Statistics suggest that lightning killed about 2,000 people each year worldwide.

The average American has about 1 in 5,000 chance of getting struck by lightning during an entire lifetime.

Despite the extremely hot temperature, hundreds of people survive strikes but a lot of them also develop lasting symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, numbness, and memory loss among others.

A single strike can cause severe burns and cardiac arrest, but 9 out of 10 people who have been struck by lightning survive.

Some of those people are listed below.

10 Peter McCathie

Lucky would be a blatant understatement to describe the fate of one Peter McCathie.

When he was a teenager, he experienced something that probably nobody else he knows his entire life will: getting struck by a lightning and survive.

He was on a boating trip when he saw a white cloud formed above him, and then the seemingly improbable happened.

Lightning came down from the cloud through the trees and touched him.

Then in 2015, he won a million dollar lottery prize.

Apparently few years earlier, his daughter was also struck by lightning.

The odds of those three events happening to one person is 1 in 2.6 trillion.

9 Britney Wehrle

The 11 years old Britney Wehrle was taking a walk with a friend in Washington, Pennsylvania.

It was a sunny day, but she did not know that at the time a storm was forming several miles away. She did not even notice that she had been struck by lightning when it happened.

She began to realize the unfortunate event when she arrived in front of her home and tried to open the door. She couldn’t move her left arm and saw a burn mark on the wrist and shoulder.

It was later discovered that the lightning bolt entered her shoulder and flowed through her wrist. She was in good shape nonetheless, and eventually recovered.

8 Jaime Santana

In the evening of April 30, 2016, Jaime Santana and his brother-in-law were horseback riding near Buckeye, Arizona.

It was not the sunniest day to say the least; the sky was filled with lightning and rain that all aircrafts were also grounded.

The brother-in-law, Alex Torres, witnessed how Santana’s chest caught fire a moment after he had been struck by lightning.

He was taken to the hospital and receiving treatment for four months. Santana recovered, but his horse did not.

7 Dylan Nichols

Dylan Nichols was 21 years when a lightning just happened to strike him.

At that time, he was a technician at the F.X. Caprara Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep dealership.

In August 31, 2016 at approximately 12:25 p.m., he actually did nothing unusual.

He was just sitting against a garage door in the dealership and enjoying his lunch when a lightning struck.

Nichols complained of numbness and chest pain afterward, and was found lying on the ground.

He survived the incident, probably because the garage door absorbed the bulk of the electricity and heat.



6 Winston Kemp

It probably wasn’t the intention of Winston Kemp to risk his life for some fruits, but it happened anyway.

Under a pouring rain, he ran out to the yard to save his pumpkins. Suddenly bright white light and loud blast filled the entire atmosphere around him.

Later it was discovered that a lightning struck his neighbor’s yard and he didn’t think of anything particularly worrying about that.

He was wrong. About an hour later, he began to develop severely painful blisters on his arms. He survived and actually had a rather impressive burn mark that looked like Lichtenberg tree for a time.

5 Alice Svensson

Contrary to popular belief, lightning can (in fact often does) strike the same place twice. Alice Svensson could testify on that.

On August 17, 2011, she was struck by lightning twice while taking a shower in her home in Gothenburg, Sweden. Just seconds before the unfortunate events, claps of thunder cracked outside and rain began to pour afterward.

Svensson suddenly screamed, and so her mother went down to the basement to help wash her hair; they didn’t know what had just happened.

And then Svensson screamed for the second time; still they didn’t realized that lightning had surged through the plumbing, hit Svensson, and flowed through the pipes. Svensson was fine.

4 Jody Green

On September 13, 2016, Jody Green from North Cornelly, Wales was just gathering in a load of washing outside.

It was indeed a stormy day so she actually waited until the storm had passed to dash out, but she was wrong.

When Green put her hand on the metal rotary washing line, she was blinded by white light as a lightning struck.

As enormous amount of volts flowed through her body, she could hear some crackling sound above her head.

She said she was saved by a rubber flip-flops that cost her just £5.

3 Austin Melton

In the afternoon on June 3, 2009, Austin Melton went to La Pine High School to play basketball. He was actually an eight-grader at La Pine Middle School back then.

At 6:15 p.m., one of about 10,000 lightning strikes that poured down on Oregon that day hit Melton by the head.

When other kids ran out to look at the thunderstorm, Melton decided to take a stroll across the open field, and he got what he did not expect at all.

He was directly struck by a bolt of lightning, which shredded and scorched his sweatshirt. His right sneaker also melted to his foot. He suffered from stinging burns, but thankfully no neurological damage.

2 Sophie Frost And Mason Billington

In early June 2009, sweethearts Sophie Frost and Mason Billington from Southend, Essex were looking for a place to stay dry from a coming storm, so they decided to stop under a tree.

As it turned out, lightning struck the tree and travelled through their bodies.

Sophie passed out as the immense electric power travelled through her iPod headphones, burning her stomach and chest.

Since they were holding hands, the electricity passed through Mason as well. Mason regained consciousness first and carried Sophie to safety despite having trouble seeing due to the injuries. Both survived.

1 Roy Sullivan

Born in February 7, 1912 in Greene County, Virginia, Roy Sullivan was otherwise a normal person and dedicated park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

But he was far from a typical person, mainly because throughout his life he had been struck by lightning 7 times between 1942 and 1977.

He survived all of those. Sullivan even claimed that the first time he had been struck by lightning was not in 1942, but much earlier, probably when he was a child.

He died in September 28, 1983 at the age of 71 from self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

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