SuperTalk Mississippi

Struck by lightning

As part of MEMA’s Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week, News Mississippi wants to make you mindful of a horror that has become the stuff of legend:


Roughly 500 people are struck by lightning each year, with a 90 percent survival rate.

But survival often comes with permanent physical consequences.

In the fraction of a second that it takes a lighting bolt to pass through your body, deep wounds can occur, often accompanied with third degree burns. It is not unusual for hair and clothing to catch fire.

If you happen to be wearing any metal objects, like necklaces or a piercings, they could channel the electric current, superheating and searing your skin. And if the lightning exits through your feet, the force could literally ‘knock your socks off’.

Electric discharge can cause blood vessels to burst. The resulting heat might create something called a Lichtenberg figure on your skin. This is a pattern of scars that branches out across your body like the limbs of a tree, likely tracing the path the electricity took as it travelled through you.

It’s not uncommon for the blast to rupture your eardrums, possibly leading to hearing loss.

The pain was described by one lightning survivor as like ‘being stung by a thousand wasps’.

To avoid getting struck by lightning, click here.

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