A family in Newark, Nottinghamshire found themselves in the midst of a freak electrical storm and reacted how we all usually do. They stayed indoors and waited the passing weather out. But when a sudden lightning bolt ran right through their house and catapulted them into the air, it was a bit hard to stay composed. Luckily no one was hurt. Perhaps the strangest part of this story is the fact that it’s not entirely unique lately. In recent months there have been several stories about people being struck by lightning even while indoors. But what could be causing it?
In 2010 a girl was struck by lightning as a storm passed through England and came away with no major injuries. The girl in that case was taken to St. Charles Hospital and released shortly thereafter.
But it’s still a rare occurrence. Each year an estimated 60 people are killed by lightning strikes, and almost all of those are outside. There have been a few circumstances where the lightning actually reached inside a house, but this is usually by lightning passing through an electrical conduit like a telephone or pipes. In the case of this latest incident, the lightning is suspected to have passed right through a substantial portion of the house’s structure. Firefighters called to the scene were just as surprised as anyone to see that it had happened, and even more-so that no one had been hurt. Rather than simply trickle in through the phone line this incident – much like the 2010 incident had passed right into the home.
The girls are still putting their lives together after the lightning bolt destroyed a substantial portion of their home and even ruined all appliances that were hooked into an outlet. It wasn’t just a slow gentle current of electricity, but rather an incredible immense boom that exploded a large area within the home. Those responding to it said they had never seen or heard of anything like it.
We like to think that we understand the principles behind all major common forces of nature, but the truth is there is still much about lightning we do not understand even today. This mysterious force was once thought to be a conduit through which the will of the gods was worked or a representation of the most primal forces of the universe. It is currently one of the few Earthly phenomena that manifests antimatter on our planet similar to that scientists hope to reproduce in the Large Hadron Collider. And no matter how much we study it, lightning s still as unpredictable as ever.
And now that it has showcased its power by going right through homes and endangering those within, it seems we may still have a lot to learn from this force of nature. As the two girls begin piecing their lives back together, we can only wonder what the next strange feat of unprecedented power lightning will undertake next.