For an entire lifetime, the average person faces a 1 in 3,000 chance of getting hit by lightning. For about a minute, he's out cold. This article was provided by Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. You will receive a verification email shortly. The odds of being struck by lightning for a over the period of 80 years have been roughly estimated as 1:10000. A single lightning bolt can reach 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit — which is roughly half the temperature of the sun’s surface. [8][9] Sullivan himself recalled that the first time he was struck by lightning was not in 1942 but much earlier. He suffered body burns, and one of his shoes was knocked off. After this incident, Sullivan became convinced that there was an unnatural force trying to kill him, and he developed an intense fear of death. She’s cautious because Melvyn has been struck by lightning 11 times in around 12 years, and they both reckon he’s got every chance of being hit again. Please refresh the page and try again. That's because lightning bolts emanating from storm clouds convey a gigajoule of energy, he explained -- which is about enough to melt a ton of steel. That was enough for the chief to suddenly turn at Sullivan and say “Well, I’ll see you later.”. This intense heat can burn tissue, cause lung damage, and painfully expand the chest by the force of rapidly expanding heated air. A man in South Carolina has been hit 12 times. Despite being struck seven times, Sullivan’s good luck was remarkable. This page was last edited on 25 October 2020, at 12:37. Sullivan would always remember this as his absolute worst experience with lightning strikes. "The video is probably a fake.". Positive lightning bolts seldom flicker much and leap 10 times faster than negative lightning. "Most of the current will flow along that arc over the surface of his body," Rakov said. His hair also caught fire. In the United States, 3239 people were killed and 13,057 injured by lightning in the same period. He once recalled "For instance, I was walking with the Chief Ranger one day when lightning struck way off (in the distance). You also agree to our Terms of Service. As it turns out, it wouldn’t be the last. The window to the world of, Catastrophic Lightning Kills More Than 100 People in India, National Geographic's quick rundown on lightning strikes, Survivors Describe What It Feels Like After Being Struck By Lightning. A few seconds later, he is struck again. Mountain Goat Edition, A City So Cold, They Drink Vodka to Stay Warm, Mysterious Fuel Could Make Spill Even Worse, Democratic Republic of the Congo | Français, State of Vatican City (Holy See) | Italiano. And, again, a few seconds after that, he recovers. Use escape to clear. The lightning hit a nearby power transformer and from there jumped to his left shoulder, searing it. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. The new European data protection law requires us to inform you of the following before you use our website: We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. AI can detect COVID-19 from the sound of your cough, Mark Kelly becomes 4th astronaut elected to Congress, Long-hidden 'selfie' of a medieval mason found in historic Spanish cathedral, Possible cause of COVID-19 blood clots found. The first sign that the video might be fake, according to Vladimir Rakov, electrical engineer and co-director of the University of Florida Lightning Research Group, is that people almost never survive direct lightning strikes like the one shown in the video. Tropical Trees May Be the Solution to Global Health and Climate Change, Evidence of Female Hunters Debunk "Man-the-Hunter" Hypothesis, 164 Dogs Crammed In a Tiny House In Japan, Minority Scientists and Students Exposed to More Risks During Fieldwork, 5 Sci-Fi Movie Technologies Seeing Real-World Applications, RFID Tracking Is Making Our Supply Chain Stronger than Ever, This Digital Self-Help App May Help Teens Improve Their Mental Health, Home Improvements That Will Cut Energy Costs, About Us  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us, (Photo: Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images), ©2017 All rights reserved. Now Playing. According to National Geographic's quick rundown on lightning strikes, the odds of a person being struck by lightning for any given year, at least in the US, is 1 in 700,000. In July 1970, Sullivan was struck while in his front yard. In sunshine, in pouring rain, on the back of a ride-on lawnmower (twice), and even standing innocently on a roofed porch — lightning has a way of finding him. New York, A new viral video shows a man getting struck by lightning during a rainstorm. He had shot himself in the head with his shotgun, for reasons that still spark controversy. 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See our, Read a limited number of articles each month, You consent to the use of cookies and tracking by us and third parties to provide you with personalized ads, Unlimited access to on any device, Unlimited access to all Washington Post apps, No on-site advertising or third-party ad tracking. While it's extremely rare that someone survives a direct lightning strike, those who do can typically thank this same flashover effect. These numbers do not quite apply to Sullivan, however, who by the nature of his work and his physical location was exposed to more storms than the average person. Little did he know his days of being zapped by lightning weren’t over yet. Sullivan recalls the flames on top of his head being several inches tall. See our Privacy Policy and Third Party Partners to learn more about the use of data and your rights. [6] Two of his ranger hats are on display at two Guinness World Exhibit Halls in New York City and South Carolina. When he finally thought he had outrun it, he decided it was safe to leave his truck. "If it were a side flash, there should have been some indication of the direct flash which produced the side flash," said Bill Rison, an electrical engineer and lightning physicist at New Mexico Tech. Receive news and offers from our other brands? Despite these astronomically low chances, Roy Cleveland Sullivan, a park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, was hit by lightning not once, but seven times during his lifetime. Coronavirus. Top: World map showing relative frequency of lightning strikes. Latest Weather. At the very least, Misener believes that his Crocs somehow saved him from even worse injuries. Thank you for signing up to Live Science. The place was about a mile away from the site where he was hit the second time four years earlier. Reportedly, on one occasion, as he was walking with the Chief Park Ranger, they could hear a thunderstorm in the distance. This event was later recreated in the 2008 film The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, in which Mr. Daws (played by Ted Manson) repeatedly claimed he had been hit by lightning seven times in his youth. Take a look, Sullivan holds the record of being hit by lightning more times than any other human being in history, The 7 Magnificent Voyages of the Ming Treasure Fleet, Educating Indigenous Populations on Their Culture and Language, Border Walls, Alliances and Blurry Identities: Nomadic Peoples and the Early Empire. Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), 2 … Sullivan. Martin Uman, an electrical engineer also at the University of Florida Lightning Research group, concurs. It then crossed over to his right leg just below the knee. The full lightning current doesn't flow through the human body, because bodies have an extremely high impedance," Rakov said. He claimed that this was the twenty-second time he hit a bear with a stick in his lifetime. "He was really struggling to get up," Misener's wife told the reporters. Sullivan’s least unfortunate encounter with lightning occurred when he was standing in his front yard and a bolt hit a power transformer, bouncing back toward him. lightning bolts emanating from storm clouds. . This final strike was the most devastating: He suffered burns in the chest and the digestive tract up to the stomach, and hearing loss in one ear. Sullivan is recognized by Guinness World Records as the person struck by lightning more recorded times than any other human being.