GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A typical flash of lightning contains 300 million volts of electricity and is hotter than the surface of the sun. So how do 9 out of 10 people survive being struck?
A majority of people struck by lightning aren’t hit directly. A vast majority of strikes, and deaths, occur as a result of a nearby strike traveling through the ground or jumping from an object.
Contrary to popular belief, metal does not attract lightning but it gives it a path to travel through. Most of the electricity from a typical lightning strike passes over the skin in a phenomenon known as a flashover.
What’s of greatest concern is the current passing through the central nervous system. In most cases, the flashover current is far greater and the strike is non-fatal. Survivors can also be left with permanent neurological problems.
So remember, when thunder roars, go indoors.