17 Photos Reveal What Happens to Your Skin When Struck By Lightning

Every year, approximately 1 in 700,000 people are struck by lightning, according to National Geographic. Business Insider states that, contrary to popular belief, lightning strikes aren’t always a death sentence. In fact, about 90 percent of people in the US who are struck actually survive.. The ordeal leaves more than a fear of clapping thunder, however. Sometimes, those who are struck by lightning are left with a tattoo-like mark caused by the electrical discharge. The mark is known as the Lichtenberg figure.

Before someone (or something) is struck by lightning, the air around them can heat to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (27,760 degrees Celsius). That’s FIVE times hotter than the sun. Furthermore, one lightning bolt can contain up to 1 billion volts of electricity.

When the lightning bolt enters the human body, it short-circuits the small electrical signals that affect the heart, lungs, and nervous system. As All That Is Interesting reports, this can lead to cardiac arrest, seizures, brain injury, spinal cord damage, and even amnesia. One’s eyes can also be damaged by the flashing light. This is because it may potentially bore holes in the retina, causing cataracts (a clouding of the lenses). If that wasn’t bad enough, being struck by lightning can also decrease libido and induce impotence. 

After it strikes, lightning has to leave the body. This action forces red blood cells out of capillaries and into the epidermis layer of the skin. What’s left appears similar to a bruise but, instead, is a Lichtenberg figure. If the individual struck by lightning was wearing metal at the time, they might also have scarring from third-degree burns.

Lightning strikes can result in disfigurement or death. Those who survive to share their experience(s) are lucky.

Following are 15+ photos of survivors and the effects being struck had on their skin.


Some might say that the latticework resulting from a lightning strike is quite beautiful. What do you think? Please comment below and share this news!

h/t All That Is Interesting


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