Here's What Happens if You Get Struck by Lightning

Here’s What Happens if You Get Struck by Lightning

Lightning strike human.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to get struck by lightning? In the year 2014, a whopping 40 fatalities were reported as a result of lightning strikes, but in reality, though this number may sound large, your chances of actually getting hit by a bolt of lightning are around 1 in 1 million. 

Each year many people fall victim to lightning strikes with a large percentage living to tell the tale, so thankfully you can find out exactly what happens when you get struck by lightning.

Unfortunately receiving a direct strike from a lightning bolt is often a lethal occurrence, however around 10 percent of people that get struck by lightning die due to phenomena such as episodes of side flash and surge voltage that can spread the total impact out to nearby objects. If you were to absorb the full force of a lightning strike then you would likely experience a very quick death due to the extremely powerful surge thundering through your body. 

If you get struck by lightning and are not killed instantly, there’s still a big chance that you might die from cardiac arrest (a heart attack) because of the electrical charge short-circuiting your heart’s natural rhythm. You also risk falling victim to respiratory arrest or a seizure too, as the shock will impact your entire body.

If you survive the immediate aftermath of a lightning strike, you can expect to look down and find painful third-degree burns across your body. You could also begin to develop an interesting scar pattern more commonly referred to as Lichtenberg figures, that resemble a tree’s roots stretching over your skin. Anything that’s made out of metal that you are wearing such as jewelry or belt buckles will increase dramatically in temperature becoming superheated which will lead to further burns. 

Another surprising experience that you can expect to encounter during a direct lightning strike is an increase in air temperature which is similar to that of an explosion. You could even feel a shock wave that has the strength to burst your eardrums and potentially knock your socks off for real by ripping your clothes to shreds, in particularly powerful bolts.

Unfortunately, even after surviving such an event, you’re probably going to experience a variety of aftereffects including severe headaches, twitches in your muscles, chronic pain, and various psychological difficulties that can affect your quality of life. It will be difficult to deal with the pain that’s associated with being struck by lightning, and you will have to take part in constant aftercare if you want to be able to get back to your former healthy self. 

However, there might be a silver lining that outweighs some of the risk associated with being hit by lightning, as it’s been reported that a man who experienced the surge of a bolt and lived to tell the tale awoke from his shock with an obsession he never previously had. He developed a strong love for piano music, and on the back of this passion, he learnt to play the piano to an amazing degree.