Rudy Moore/YouTube

WATCH: Electricity sparks from a guy's hand as he stands on a frozen lake

His reaction is priceless.

FIONA MACDONALD
1 FEB 2016
 

It's hard to say what the coolest part of this video is: the fact that you can literally see and hear electricity sparking off this guy's fingers like he's some kind of her from  X-Men, the science behind the phenomenon, or his response of "Do you think it's measurable?" Now, I don't know what Rudy Moore, who filmed this footage, does for a living, but this is definitely how a scientist responds if blue light starts shooting out of their hands. (For the record, I'd be more likely to be screaming "Oh my god!" on the sidelines like his friend.)

 

So what's going on here? Moore is actually pretty spot-on when he claims that it's static electricity, but there's more to it than that.

What you don't see in this video is that Moore went back later to frozen Lake Monona in Wisconsin to see if the same thing would happen again (told you, he’s a scientist at heart) - but with no success. That's because it’s not the ice so much that’s causing the electricity - what you see in the video above is a weather phenomenon called St Elmo's Fire.

It occurs when the air becomes unusually charged, most often due to a nearby storm. In some cases, the atoms in the air can become so ionised that electrons leap between the ground - or a human hand, in this case - and the air, in an attempt to store the balance. This is similar to what happens when you get an electric shock.

If enough energy is released, it can cause the electrons in the nitrogen and oxygen to produce the beautiful blue colours you see here.

In Moore's situation, a nearby snowstorm had made the air surrounding Moore and his friends super-charged, and the difference in charge between their bodies was great enough to produce the St Elmo's Fire phenomenon.

Usually this is something seen by pilots when they fly through a thunderstorm, so it's pretty awesome that Moore was able to capture it on film.

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