What Attracts Lightning?

lighting bolts in the distance

Lightning is attracted to the ground and clouds. You may have been brought up to believe that what attracts lightning is holding or wearing metal, and this is actually false. The position of a storm relative to the location of where someone is determined where lightning will strike. The very act of being outdoors during a thunderstorm will greatly increase your chances of being struck by lightning. It does not matter what you wear or what you hold.

Lightning is electricity, not some kind of evil force. It just wants to be grounded or have its electric charge neutralized. Those who have been struck by lightning usually report tingling sensations and their hair sticking up on end. The reasoning behind it is the static electricity that is associated with the lightning itself. If you ever have these feelings when outside during a storm- quickly move out of the way!

There are two classifications that lightning strikes generally fall under. The first of which is cloud to cloud, lightning that travels from one cloud to another. This is the most common way lightning typically strikes; it has much less of a distance to travel. Lightning will choose the path of least resistance or the easiest way to strike. Cloud to ground, the second classification, seems to be the most known of the two.

If you could ask Benjamin Franklin what it is that attracts lightning, he would tell you about the lightning rod. His invention is used today on the tops of many tall buildings in an effort to attract lightning. The electric current travels through the rod and into a wire that is then grounded. This prevents the lightning from going through buildings and into important electronic devices it could end up damaging.

A study published in 1999 discovered that 84% of deaths between 1959 through 1984 were men. Men also accounted for 82% of the injuries related to lightning strikes during that time frame. As stated previously, though, it is known that lightning strikes on people generally have to do with their positioning relative to that of the storm.

Lightning is a part of nature and behaves by its laws. It can strike amongst the clouds or sometimes down to the ground. It is never a good idea to be outside during a storm. You should be careful if you are, and remember to dodge out of the way if you start to feel any tingling!

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