Lightning Can Leave More Than Just a Spark Upon Your Skin

Somewhere in the sky, in the belly of those looming dark clouds, lightning is forming.

The odds of getting struck by Lightning in your lifetime are roughly 1 in 12,000, however, every now and then a human will become a lightning rod for bolts of electric energy to unleash their power. Roughly 500 people are struck by lightning each year, thankfully about 90% survive.

When lightning strikes and then exits your body, it will leave you with deep wounds. Wounds that are often accompanied by third-degree burns.

Your hair and clothing might singe or catch fire. In the absolute worst cases it can be fatal.

Crazy how when lightning strikes some people they develop Lichtenberg figures across their skin.

For example, a 2000 report from the New England Journal of Medicine described the case of a 54-year-old man who was struck by lightning. He was initially left in a stupor, but by the time he got to the emergency room, he seemed well.

Upon further examination, it was discovered that he had a fern-leaf pattern of painless cutaneous marks across his arm, back, and leg. The marks disappeared just two days later.

Lichtenberg figures are branching electric discharges. They sometimes appear on the surface or the interior of insulating materials.

The marks are named after the German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, who originally discovered and studied them. When they were first discovered, it was thought that their characteristic shapes might help to reveal the nature of positive and negative electric “fluids”.

This striking skin pattern is most likely caused by the rupture of capillaries beneath the skin from the electrical discharge coursing through the cells of the skin.

They are sometimes called “lightning flowers” or “skin feathering.” The medical terms are arborescent (tree-like) erythema or keraunographic markings.

Although these marks look pretty cool, they are extremely rare.

 

Source: AWM

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