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12 Lightning Facts For Kids 2022 [with Interesting Pictures]

Lightning is a bright flash of electric sparks. In the past, people used to think that furious gods would release lightning from the sky. Scientists could only figure out what lightning was after the 1700s.

Lightning Facts For Kids

Lightning is an electric spark with a potential length of 5 miles (8 kilometers). It’s created by thunderstorms high in the clouds when numerous tiny ice fragments collide as they fly through the atmosphere. These impacts all result in an electric charge. The entire cloud eventually becomes charged with electricity. The top of the cloud forms a positive charge, and the bottom of the cloud a negative charge—lightning results from an electric charge building up and being released into the atmosphere.

Lightning is mighty and can create an intense trail of light, heat, and sound called thunder. Thunder is the resounding boom that occurs after a lightning strike. The lightning’s energy heats the gasses in the air.

Here are 12 interesting facts about lightning:

Lightning fast speed.

Lightning fast speed.

Lightning moves at the same speed as light, roughly 186,000 miles per second. This implies that lightning is generally seen when it occurs. While lightning strikes move at a relatively slow 270,000 mph, the flashes we see as a result of a lightning strike move at the speed of light (670,000,000 mph). When lightning strikes, a sound is created that we refer to as thunder. Thunder moves at the speed of sound, roughly 1088 feet per second. One mile of sound travel takes around 5 seconds. 

Helicopters can cause lightning.

Helicopters can cause lightning.

Even though it might sound surprising, it’s accurate. Isolated lightning strikes can be produced by helicopters. Most helicopter-triggered lightning strikes are positively charged. This is because a helicopter flies with a negative charge, which can cause lightning to strike if it comes too close to a positively charged region (such as hail or the base of a cumulonimbus cloud). Positively charged areas of a cumulonimbus cloud are found close to the freezing level, where the rate of change from the frozen to liquid moisture state, which causes the separation of electrical charges, is at its highest. 

Also Read: Tornado Facts For Kids

Lightning strikes 8 million times per day.

Lightning strikes 8 million times per day

There are 100 lightning strikes on Earth per second. That translates to an average of 3 billion strikes annually and 8 million strikes daily. However, it is not distributed equally around the earth. Except for Antarctica’s icy regions, every continent includes lightning hotspots, typically where two air masses collide or there are mountains. These hotspots are typically located where air masses frequently collide, causing the rising air motion that gives rise to the enormous cumulonimbus clouds that produce lightning.

Lightning is five times hotter than the sun.

Lightning is five times hotter than the sun

A lightning strike can generate about 30,000 kelvin (53,540 degrees Fahrenheit). In contrast, the sun is obscured in this situation because its surface temperature is only 6,000 kelvins (10,340 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Lightning can help you determine how far a thunderstorm is.

Lightning can help you determine how far a thunderstorm is

Even though a lightning discharge often only affects one location on the ground, it travels for kilometers through the atmosphere. The segment of the lightning channel closest to you will produce the first thunder that you hear when listening to thunder. You will hear the sound coming from the channel segments that are getting more and farther away as you keep listening. Simply count the seconds between a lightning strike and the next thunderclap to determine how far away a thunderstorm is. You may calculate how far you are from the storm by dividing this number by five (or divide by three for the distance in kilometers). Five seconds equals a mile, 15 seconds equals three miles, and 0 seconds means very close.

Lake Maracaibo is the lightning capital of the world.

Lake Maracaibo is the lightning capital of the world

There are about 300 evenings with lightning storms each year over Lake Maracaibo. The most lightning strikes per square mile are also found there. It is situated in northwest Venezuela along the Andes Mountains and is the largest lake in South America. Due to its unusual location, the warm, humid air above the lake is combined with the chilly mountain breezes. Storms with lightning, as a result, occur frequently. The Catatumbo river’s entrance to Lake Maracaibo is where most of the lightning strikes are. About 28 times per minute, lightning strikes the lake during one of these storms. Eight to ten hours may pass between storms. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest concentration of lightning strikes was recorded at Lake Maracaibo.

 Lightning causes 24,000 injuries every year.

Lightning causes 24,000 injuries every year

Although it is impossible to determine for sure, it is believed that lighting causes about 24,000 fatalities and ten times as many injuries annually throughout the world. Most of these incidents may be prevented. There are different lightning injuries, including direct strikes, side splashes, contact injuries, and current ground injuries. Direct strikes (infrequent) happen when a person is struck by lightning, establishing an unbroken link between them and the lightning bolt. Contact injuries occur when a person touches a striking object. Most injuries, or 50%, are caused by ground current, which happens when lightning strikes a nearby object or piece of ground and then passes through the land to an individual.

Also Read: 15 Interesting Facts About Blizzard for Kids

Many people believed that a ringing church bell warded off lightning.

Many people believed that a ringing church bell warded off lightning.

The phrase “I pursue lightning” was inscribed on many church bells because it was thought up until the late 18th century that the sound of church bells repelled lightning. People would rush to the bell tower to ring the bells during a thunderstorm, but this did not impact the lightning. 

Astraphobia: the fear of lightning and thunder.

Severe fear of thunder and lightning is known as astraphobia. Although it is more prevalent in children, the phobia can persist into maturity. Animals are frequently affected by astrophobia. When getting ready for a thunderstorm, those who have astraphobia experience crippling fear or severe anxiety. They could become obsessed with weather news or experience panic episodes during a storm.

Volcanoes can cause lightning.

Volcanoes can cause lightning.

Instead of a typical thunderstorm, volcanic lightning is an electrical discharge brought on by a volcanic eruption. Volcanic ash (and occasionally ice) fragments collide and produce static electricity within the volcanic plume, which is the source of volcanic lightning.

Lightning rods were invented to divert lightning safely. 

Lightning rods- also known as conductors- often found at the top of large buildings—are metal rods or other similar items that safely divert lightning to the ground. Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod. 

This rod shields the structure from lightning strikes. When lightning strikes a building, it is drawn to the rod, and the energy travels down a wire and away from the building, sparing it from damage. As a result, it does not enter the structure, preventing a fire or electrocution calamity.

The colors of lightning are as diverse as the rainbow.

The colors of lightning are as diverse as the rainbow.

Lightning can also take on a range of colors, depending on conditions in the clouds and air. The three most common colors, aside from white, are blue, yellow, and violet. It’s almost always white, but it often has another color faintly visible around its edges. 

The color of the lightning bolt depends on how hot it is. A simple rule of thumb that you can easily remember is that the hotter the lightning is, the closer its color will be to the end of the color spectrum. The color spectrum in terms of lightning starts with red, which is the coolest and goes up to ultraviolet. This appears violet and is the hottest. Usually, hail is indicated by blue lightning within a cloud. Rain is present when a cloud contains red lightning. When there is a lot of dust in the air, yellow or orange lightning will occur. White lightning indicates low humidity or a lack of moisture in the air.

Conclusion 

Lighting is incredibly beautiful but dangerous because it is one of nature’s most concentrated means of releasing energy. It is one of the earliest natural phenomena observed on earth. In addition to thunderstorms, it is visible during volcanic eruptions, particularly severe forest fires, surface nuclear detonations, heavy snowstorms, sizable hurricanes, and intense surface nuclear explosions. The electrical balance between the earth and the atmosphere would vanish in five minutes without lightning.