Here’s What Happens To Your Skin When You Survive Being Struck By Lightning


The odds of getting struck by lightning in any given year are about 1 in 300,000. And although roughly 90% of those struck survive, the electrical discharge scars some of them with a tattoo-like mark, known as the Lichtenberg figure. But that’s not all.

A lightning bolt can heat the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (27,760 degrees Celsius) – which is five times hotter than the sun – and can contain 300,000 – 1,000,000 volts of energy. It’s terrifying to imagine what this amount of energy could do to a human.

When it enters your body, it short-circuits the small electrical signals that run the heart, lungs, and nervous system. This can lead to cardiac arrest, seizures, brain injury, spinal cord damage, and amnesia. The blistering heat, light, and electricity can also damage your eyes. For example, it can bore holes in your retina and cause cataracts, a clouding of the lenses. Unfortunately for men, lightning can also induce impotence and decrease libido in general.

As the lightning moves toward the surface of the body, it can force red blood cells out of your capillaries, into your epidermis. Like a bruise. These scars are the earlier mentioned Lichtenberg figures. The insane temperatures can also heat up any metal you’re wearing, causing third-degree burns. Or rapidly vaporize the sweat or rain on your skin. Sometimes, this steam explosion even blows off people’s clothes or shoes, leaving them nearly naked. Scroll down to meet some of the people that survived this crazy experience!

(h/t allthatisinteresting, businessinsider)

The odds of getting struck by lightning in any given year are about 1 in 300,000

Image credits: unknown

And although roughly 90% of those struck survive, the electrical discharge scars some of them with a tattoo-like mark

Scars-After-Surviving-Lightning-Strike-Lichtenberg-Figures-Photos-18

Image credits: unknown

It is known as the Lichtenberg figure

Image credits: whampbeef

But that’s not all

Image credits: unknown

A lightning bolt can heat the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (27,760 degrees Celsius)

Image credits: unknown

This is five times hotter than the sun

Image credits: unknown

It also can contain 300,000 – 1,000,000 volts of energy

Image credits: unknown

When this amount of energy enters your body, it short-circuits the small electrical signals that run the heart, lungs, and nervous system

Image credits: unknown

This can lead to cardiac arrest, seizures, brain injury, spinal cord damage, and amnesia

Image credits: nejm

The blistering heat, light, and electricity can also damage your eyes

Image credits: unknown

For example, it can bore holes in your retina and cause cataracts (cloudings of the lenses)

Image credits: unknown

Unfortunately for men, lightning can also induce impotence and decrease libido in general

Image credits: CBS

The Lichtenberg figures are the results of the lightning moving toward the surface of the body

Image credits: unknown

When it forces the red blood cells out of your capillaries

Image credits: unknown

A man called Winston Kemp was struck by lightning back in 2011

Image credits: nejm

Ironically, the man is an electrician

Image credits: sciencegeekgirl

“I went outside to save my pumpkins. After that, I was going back inside”

Image credits: geardiary

“I just know it struck in our neighbor’s backyard, and it was bright and loud. I didn’t feel anything”

Image credits: geardiary

“I just came back inside like nothing was wrong. Umm…my arm was sore. <…> [It was] maybe an hour before I saw the marks”

Image credits: geardiary

“A few hours after it happened it really started to bother me. The next day it was bad. The blisters started forming; they were really big” They kept on growing for a week!

Image credits: geardiary

Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year

Image credits: Kansas City Golf ‏

And they can also engrave fields of grass

Image credits: Anna Garcia ‏

So golf courses can really highlight these Lichtenberg figures

Image credits: beingto

Which are named after the German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg who originally discovered and studied them

Image credits: Anna Garcia ‏


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