• Question: Why are some people more likely to be hit by lightening then others ?

    Asked by 424xygg42 to Gavin, Mark, Roisin on 17 Nov 2016.
    • Photo: Mark Kennedy

      Mark Kennedy answered on 17 Nov 2016:

      I’m not sure, I didn’t know some people were! There are obvious reasons (such as lightning happens more often in some countries, so living in one of those countries increases the chances of you getting struck).

      But if you gathered everyone into a single place, I would have assumed the most dominant effects in increasing your chances of being hit by lightning are these:

      1/ Your height – taller people are more likely to be hit, as they offer a shorter path length for the lightning to get from the air to the ground (or ground to the air, depending on which way the electrons are flowing 😉 )

      2/ the sole of your show – if you’re wearing rubber shoes, lightning is less likely to hit you as you’re insulated from the Earths surface, which is where the lightning wants to go 🙂

    • Photo: Roisin Jones

      Roisin Jones answered on 17 Nov 2016:

      Excellent answer Mark! I suspect that being hit by lightning more than once is also probably a mark of how well your body copes with electrical overload: if you get hit by lightning once and it kills you, you’re not exactly around for the second time! Also, I’d imagine that people who are hit by lightning more than once often work in jobs where you’re outdoors a lot, in areas of the world that experience a lot of electrical storms: for example, the man who has been struck by lightning the most times in the world (7!!), Roy Sullivan, was a park ranger in Virginia!