You must have heard that mirrors and lightning bolts are not good friends, well that’s a lightning myth. With the rains coming in heavily and frequent occurrences of thunderstorms, it is important to note that there is nothing to fear about; lightning is just another creation of God, just like rain and sunshine.
There are several myths that people have over the years, accepted to be the truth about this sudden electrostatic discharge that occurs during an electrical storm.
First, you should note that lightning occurs between electrically charged regions of a cloud called intra-cloud lightning, and another cloud, or between a cloud and the ground or a body. Here are some myths that we need you to know the truth about.
Lightning myth 1: Making a weird sound with your lips jamming each other immediately after lightning strikes neutralizes its power.
Whoever told you this myth needs to be flogged. Does lightning hear you? I think that sound only consoles your fear and says “relax, all is well.”
Myth 2: It is unsafe to be in a car during a lightning storm.
If you are not indoors during a lightning storm and find yourself inside a car, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Just make sure you fold your hands in your lap and avoid contact with anything metal in the car.
Myth 3: Crouching down while outside during a lightning bolt reduces your risk of being struck.
Well, if lightning was a stray bullet then lying low could protect you. Crouching doesn’t make you any safer as long as you are outdoors. Your best bet will be to look for the closest shelter as your safety chances are higher in a building.
Myth 4: If it’s not raining you’re safe from lightning.
This lightning myth is a very big fat one as rain and lightning bolt do not necessarily work together. Lightning can strike more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud.
Myth 5: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Ironically, lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it’s a tall, pointy, isolated object.
Myth 6: A lightning victim is electrified. If you touch them, you’ll be electrocuted.
In as much as lightning is similar to electricity, it is safe to touch a lightning victim to give them first aid, if need be.
Myth 7: You can hear when lightning strikes.
When lightning strikes and you hear a loud clap, that sound is actually the sound of a thunder not the lightning. Light travels faster than sound, therefore, the thunder is heard after the lightning. If you see lightning and hear thunder at the same time, that lightning is already around the corner.
Myth 8: Rubber tires on a car protect you from lightning by insulating you from the ground.
Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, not the rubber tires. When lightning strikes a vehicle, it goes through the metal frame into the ground. However, don’t lean on doors during a thunderstorm.
Myth 9: If outside in a thunderstorm, you should seek shelter under a tree to stay dry.
Finding solace under a tree is the second leading cause of lightning casualties. It is better to get wet than fried by lightning.
Myth 10: If you are in a house, you are 100% safe from lightning.
The fact is that a house is a safe place to be during a thunderstorm as long as you avoid anything that conducts electricity.
During lightning storm, avoid contact with gadgets plugged to electricity, electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, metal doors and windows. Standing close to windows can be dangerous as lightning can crack the window if it’s old, although this rarely happens. So, stay safe during the remaining part of this raining season until harmattan comes.