YouTube Hits: Close lightning strike

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Here’s a fantastic short video of lightning striking a beach, tens of metres away from the cameraman. Lightning, as I’m sure you’re all aware, is caused by ice crystals rubbing together and transferring charged particles in storm clouds. What you might not know is that thunder is the sound of the air along the lightning bolt’s path being instantaneously heated to 30,000°C! Warning: mildly NSFW language.

When lightning strikes a beach, it’s hot enough to fuse sand together into glass columns up to six metres long known as fulgurites. Here’s a record-breaking one from a beach in Florida:

fulgurite.jpg

(via Digg)

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Duncan Geere