The wonder of lightning may be a timeless connection between people the world over. Almost everyone has a great “lightning story” or two, and we have all feared and sat in awe of electric skies since childhood.
So, where is the safest place to be in a lightning storm and why?
Why doesn’t lightning cause airplanes to fall out of the sky? Should we actually head for our cars if lightning starts? What should we do if we are somewhere without shelter? And why?
There’s that magical question, “Why?”
It’s at the beginning of every journey past our comfortable notions and surroundings.
Have you ever stopped to think about why our earliest ancestors came down out of the safety of the trees and spread across the planet? The more I learn about innovators and thought leaders, the more certain I am that curiosity is our greatest asset. Humans are naturally curious and perhaps that’s at the heart of our evolution.
Maybe it’s the fact that asking “Why?” is more than a habit. It’s a deeply fundamental urge to figure out our surroundings and we are relentlessly compelled to ask it from the time we are toddlers–but the interesting things we find along the way have brought us, as a species, to some pretty cool places.
That said, I’m going to write articles from time to time that have no agenda except to celebrate common wonders in the world that almost no one appreciates: wonders that give us the joy of an ah-ha moment.
So, where is the best place to be in a lightning storm and why? Are we safe in airplanes and cars? Why?
The answer may surprise you! It runs completely contrary to common conceptions and seems obvious once you understand the basics. This is definitely a fun insight and you’ll never look at lightning again with the same level of fear or mayhem.
Let’s start with the fundamentals in a great short video may by the EWC favorite YouTube creators:
So we are safer in a suit of armor? Who would have guessed?
Okay, so how does this apply to our safety in a car or an airplane in a lightning storm?
Here’s another great video creator, Captain Joe, who’s an Airbus A320 pilot that flies for a German Airline company. In his spare time he has found a passion for explaining the wonders of flight to ordinary people like us. If you are naturally curious and air travel is part of your life, his videos are super insightful, a little fun and really approachable.
So here’s Captain Joe tackling our fears about being in an airplane during a lightning storm:
So, let’s check that off in our big books of why and keep asking questions! I suspect that if you are reading this article, you are still inspired by the joy of an “ah-ha” moment.
People who find and share Ever Widening Circles tend to be treasured in their workplace and circle of friends because they bring a rare and welcome excitement to projects that seek knowledge and understanding.
We’ll keep bringing you to new places where ingenious people share their ideas with us, to help us discover that the world is far more beautifully complex than we might have ever imagined.
Stay open, curious and optimistic!
~ Dr. Lynda
Want to Keep This Ah-ha Moment Going?
Hop over to our Science or Technology articles! The wonders never cease there.
If your curiosity runs in creative directions, try our articles celebrating creative geniuses in our world. (There are some jaw-dropping articles over there, even if you don’t lean towards the arts.)
And make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss our next article!
- “How to Survive a Lightning Strike.” YouTube. MinuteEarth, 09 Sept. 2013. Web. 15 Jan. 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNxDgd3D_bU&feature=youtu.be>. ↩
- “AIRPLANE vs LIGHTNING – Explained by CAPTAIN JOE.” YouTube. Captain Joe, 31 Aug. 2017. Web. 15 Jan. 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olxaFBtCV4Q&feature=youtu.be>. ↩