Were you scared of thunder and lightning as a kid?
The science behind lightning is pretty fascinating, and there’s a lot to learn about the different types of lightning that occur. Have you ever heard of ball lightning?
Some people say it doesn’t exist, as it’s a treacherous kind of lightning that could cause severe damage if it happened often, and there’s a lack of evidence.
However, some records of ball lightning describe it as looking like something out of an action movie.
One of the first documented sightings of ball lightning happened in 1638. It was described as a ball of fire that burst through the window of an English church.
Two hundred years ago, crew members aboard the ship HMS Warren Hastings reported seeing similar balls of fire descend from the sky, which set the ship on fire and killed several people.
Because ball lightning is so rare, scientists have acknowledged its existence but haven’t been able to study it as thoroughly as the lightning we see during a typical thunderstorm.
However, researchers from China’s Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou conducted research on the phenomenon in 2012. They studied a thunderstorm with ball lightning using video cameras and spectrometers.
During their research, they developed a theory that ball lightning occurs due to a reaction between oxygen and vaporized elements from the soil during a ground strike.