Lightning Fact or Fiction?
1. If your hair stands on end, you’re about to be
struck by lightning.
Fact. If your hair stands on end, you could
be in an area where a charge is building before a lightning strike.
2. Lightning only happens where it’s raining.
Fiction. Most deaths and injuries from lightning
occur as a storm is rapidly approaching or within a half-hour
after one has passed. Lightning can strike over 6.5 kilometers
ahead of or behind the storm, even while the sky overhead is blue.
3. What you wear (sneakers, rubber boots, hairpins, cleats,
etc.) can increase or decrease your chances of being struck by lightning.
Fiction. What studies have been done indicate
that what you wear doesn’t make much difference either way.
4. You’re safe from lightning inside a car because
the rubber tires act as insulators.
Fact and Fiction. You are safe from lightning
in a car if it has a metal top and sides and if the doors and
windows are shut tight. Don’t touch the car frame, steering
wheel, ignition, gear shift, or radio. The metal shell of the
car conducts the electricity away and that protects you, not the
5. Carrying an umbrella can be dangerous when lightning
Fact. Anything that makes you taller increases
6. If lightning only hits the ground close by, you’re
Fiction. When lightning hits the ground, the
current spreads along the surface to a depth of a few centimeters.
Any fence or pipe in its path will be charged with energy for
quite a distance. Any person in its path can be injured.
7. Lightning travels down telephone wires.
Fact. If lightning strikes your home, the charge
travels through power lines, phone lines, and plumbing until it
reaches the ground. If you’re in the bath or shower, touching
an electric appliance, or on a corded phone, you could be injured.
8. People struck by lightning are electrified and dangerous
Fiction. Plus, when people are struck, their
hearts or breathing often stop. They must be given first aid immediately.
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