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5 ways you can be struck by lightning and only 1 involves a direct strike

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Any way of being struck by lightning can potentially kill or injure someone, resulting in cardiac arrest or damage to the neurological system, but the way someone is struck may also impact the kind of injuries an individual might suffer.

The danger of a lightning strike depends on several factors, including where a person is when being struck, the kind of object someone is holding or even the amount of water on the person’s skin. When lightning strikes someone, most of the current flashes across the surface of the skin, with only a small fraction entering the body.

It’s such an overwhelming amount of energy that not all of it can go through the person,” John Jensenius, the National Weather Service’s lightning safety expert, told AccuWeather. “It’s like taking a gallon bucket of water and in three seconds trying to pour it all through a straw.”

The electricity that does enters a person’s body can cause devastating neurological damage, including memory loss, chronic pain and seizures in addition to the relatively superficial burns on the outside of someone’s skin. About 10% of people struck by lightning are killed. Continue Reading

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