Five things about lightning we all need to remember
Image: Mihai Simonia/Shutterstock

1. You get a fern-like scar if lightning hits you

If you are hit by lightning, chances are your skin will be severely burnt and get a Lichtenberg figure, which is a tree-like scar that lasts for a few hours or days after the incident.

Dr Mathew Avram, director of Dermatology Laser and Cosmetic Centre at Massachusetts General Hospital in the US, explained how the marks are formed at NBC News: “The feathering marks are formed by the transmission of static electricity along the superficial blood vessels that nourish the skin.”


2. There’s lightning in the atmospheres of other planets in the Solar System

Alien lightning is a very rare phenomenon that’s usually located in gaseous planets. The Cassini spacecraft spotted these flashes of light on Saturn back in 2011. According to Denise Chow at, “the energy from the visible lightning flashes could have spiked up to three billion watts over one second,” which is fairly similar to some of the strongest lightning flashes on Earth. Astronomers also believe that alien lightning exists on Uranus, Neptune and Saturn’s moon Titan.


Image: NASA

3. A lightning bolt is hotter than the surface of the Sun

The average temperature of a lightning bolt is 27,700 degrees Celsius, or five times hotter than the temperature of the surface of the Sun, which is 5,505 degrees Celsius, reports Flora Lichtman at Popular Science.

4. How many times per day does the Earth get hit by lightning?

On average, every year 25 million lightning strikes hit the ground during 100,000 thunderstorms, according to National Geographic. This means that our planet is struck by about 100 lightning bolts every second.

5. Lightning never strikes the same place more than once

If you’ve heard this before, whoever told you is entirely wrong. Lightning often strikes the same place. According to the US National Weather Service Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services the Empire State Building is hit nearly 100 times a year.


Curious about lightning? Watch the world's lightning strikes mapped in real time.