Incredible photos show what can happen to your body if you're struck by lightning

Louis Staples
Monday 08 October 2018 14:00
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Image:(Twitter / @essiefox)

For all the technological advances of the last few decades, it's easy to forget the power and beauty of nature.

There is no better example of this than Lichtenberg scarring, a type of scarring that can occur when people are struck by lightening.

Researcher Essie Fox shared stunning photos on Twitter, after coming across the phenomenon while researching for an upcoming book.

So why do these scars occur?

Lichtenberg figures, named after German physicist Professor Georg Lichtenberg, are branching patterns created when high voltage electrical discharges pass through insulating materials, such as the human body. Lightning releases a huge discharge of static electricity, killing 3,696 people in America between 1959 and 2003. Fatality rates are falling, but around 30 people per year still die from lightening strikes every year. It is thought that 10 per cent of people struck by lightning die, with 70 per cent suffering serious problems including personality changes and even brain damage.

Lichtenberg figures, or scars, are thought to be caused by a rupture from the electrical discharge. Other names are "lightening flowers" or "skin feathering".

The scars, which bear a resemblance to natural tattoos, quickly garnered attention on the social networking site.

H/T: IFL Science

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